MATURE aged TAFE student, Bomaderry resident and self-described terrier Rob Robertson is campaigning to reinstate a bus stop that was removed after serving the area for 20 years.
Commuters wishing to travel from the south to Illawarra TAFE’s Bomaderry campus or north from the TAFE to the train station have to cross four lanes of the Princes Highway to a bus stop near Mattes Way, about 400 metres down the road.
Changes to Beinda Street and the traffic over time meant the bus stop across the road from the TAFE was removed.
It was found the street was not wide enough to allow for two bus bays on either side of the road.
Mr Robertson contacted Kiama MP Gareth Ward about the issue who passed the matter up to NSW Minister for Roads Duncan Gay.
Mr Gay instructed the Shoalhaven Traffic Committee to look into the matter on September 30.
A small group of residents and TAFE students met with Shoalhaven City Council road safety officer Kathy Wiseham and a member of the Shoalhaven Traffic Committee on Monday to discuss options for the site.
The traffic committee will be asked to take another look at changing the parking restrictions on the street opposite the TAFE entrance to allow for busses to stop briefly.
However, this option was previously declined on safety grounds.
Mrs Wiseham said council was applying for funds from the Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grants Scheme for Nowra’s Stewart Place bus terminal upgrade this year.
“If we get that it will be a significant amount of money so we could apply for funds for the bus stop opposite TAFE the next year,” she said.
“The cost of moving the kerb and guttering and changing the drainage to allow buses space to pull over has been quoted at about $45,000.
“There is no easy quick fix to this and we have about 71 bus shelters to go in across Shoalhaven, not including putting in new bus bays,” she said.
Mr Robertson left the meeting without much hope of a resolution.
However he said he was not about to let go of the issue.
“I’m a Scotsman, I’m a terrier.
“I wrote to Gareth Ward and he has brought Duncan Gay on board and that’s why those people from council were there on Monday,” he said.
“My next step is to report back to Gareth Ward,” Mr Robertson said.
“There are disabled people crossing the highway, people carrying bags and paint equipment and clutching canvases.
“You have to be Cathy Freeman to get over the highway there.
“If you are caught in the middle you have to teeter on one piece of concrete with B-double trucks tearing past you.
“The whole thing is just ridiculous and somebody is going to die trying to cross the highway to catch a bus.
“The original bus stop was working and there were no accidents,” he said.
Other options to be explored include the Department of Education and Training making changes to the roundabout inside the TAFE grounds to allow buses to safely pick up and drop off passengers on TAFE grounds.
The RMS could also be involved and provide a stopping bay for buses outside the TAFE.