THE chance of a child being hit by a car near Bayswood Estate at Vincentia will be reduced with the introduction of a new bus stop on Monday.
In March last year a frustrated community approached the South Coast Register after pleas for either a safer crossing on Jervis Bay Road or a bus zone in Bayswood Estate seemed to fall on deaf ears.
The estate’s population continues to grow; last year up to 22 children were let off the bus after school each day across the road from the estate.
They had to cross Jervis Bay Road in an 80km/h zone, just metres from a blind corner.
Well before the community approached the media, Nowra Coaches had made representation to Stockland about the issue and the need for bus access into the estate.
However many of those recommendations were not implemented, delaying the company’s ability to plan a safer bus route.
This week, however, a new bus zone on Halloran Street in the estate was finalised.
Over the past year Shoalhaven City Council engaged with the local community and Nowra Coaches to determine the location of the new bus zone.
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash said she was pleased to see council working alongside the local community and a private contractor to provide a safer bus zone for local students.
“I would certainly like to commend Bayswood Estate residents, Nowra Coaches, members of the Shoalhaven Traffic Committee and council staff for ensuring the safety of local students travelling to and from school,” Cr Gash said.
“The creation of this new bus zone will ensure that these students no longer have to travel across the congested Naval College Road [Jervis Bay Road] during peak traffic times,” she said.
Nowra Coaches training and assessment manager Scott Davis said as soon as the company could physically gain access to the estate it went in and started planning.
“Public transport is a big issue and I can understand the residents being frustrated, but when we explained our situation they understood,” he said.
“It wasn’t that we wouldn’t go in there it was that we couldn’t go in there.
“A coach is a very large vehicle and access was very narrow.
“We put our concerns to council, they had a look and had consultations with Bayswood. Unfortunately it hasn’t happened as quickly as we’d like but it has happened.
“Hopefully the residents will be happy,” Mr Davis said.
Nowra Coaches will begin picking children up in the morning and dropping them off at the Halloran Street bus stop from Monday.