Saraton bus-stop moved

THE Saraton bus-stop stand-off in Grafton is finally over.

The bus-stop in Prince Street vanished on Monday on the instructions of Clarence Valley Council.

Its removal paves the way at last for the Saraton Theatre to reopen, once its refurbishment is complete and new projection equipment has arrived.

The theatre’s owners said they would not reopen the doors until the bus-stop was removed.

On Monday morning, Busways received a call at about 8am from one of their drivers, saying the bus-stop in front of the Saraton Theatre in Prince Street, Grafton, had been converted to reverse angle parking like the rest of the street.

David Collins, of Busways, said he had no knowledge of the closure and was surprised when The Daily Examiner asked for his comment on the change.

He said he was very disappointed with council’s handling of the issue.

“There is now a 650-metre gap between stops on Prince Street. A lot of disadvantaged and members of the community use this service and to make such a change with out notification to the public, as well as us as a company, is downright disappointing,” he said.

“I am not happy with the way this issue has been dealt with and in my opinion, it hasn’t been resolved at all.”

It is unclear at this stage whether a new bus-stop will be created nearby, most likely in Pound Street.

Catherine McPhee, a Maclean resident who regularly uses the Busways service between Yamba and Grafton, said if she hadn’t known the bus driver who was driving on the trip back to Yamba, she would have been stranded in Grafton.

“I am not impressed with the lack of notification. It is common decency to give notice about a service that people rely on,” she said. “I don’t drive and have relied on public transport since my husband passed away two years ago. I think that council’s actions are plain rude and disrespectful to ratepayers and the bus company,” Ms McPhee said.

Rob Donges, of Clarence Valley Council, confirmed the change.

“We removed the bus-stop and converted the space into car parks to resolve an issue that arose with the owners of the Saraton Theatre,” he said.

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