Bus bay plan raises congestion concerns

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Plans to install a 14-bay bus facility parallel to Georgiana Molloy Anglican School have raised concerns with neighbouring homeowners who say the plan could increase conflict and congestion.

Safety concerns at the school were raised in 2016, with $200,000 of State Government funding later allocated to the project, but with the City of Busselton now seeking feedback on the proposal concerns have resurfaced.

The plan to install bus parking along Hawker Approach would give buses access to the site via Joseph Drive and Almond Parkway, but homeowner Helen Hiddle said the additional bus bays could lead to further traffic congestion and they would be better placed within the school grounds. “The buses already create heavy congestion along Bussell Highway, Joseph Drive and Hawker Approach, and if the proposal is successful will also make use of Almond Parkway in their endeavour to create a thoroughfare throughout the estate,” she said.

Mrs Hiddle said safety would be better addressed if buses entered the school from Joseph Drive, exiting via a slip road onto Bussell Highway.

Resident Christine Watson shared similar concerns and said vacant land within the boundaries would be more suitable.

“Student access and safety would certainly become more of a risk issue with students having to move outside the grounds and in some instances having to cross the kiss-and-drop area within the school to catch their buses,” she said. While the City of Busselton proposed GMAS seek other development options, principal Ted Kosicki said the school’s building and grounds committee had proposed various alternatives, but the relocation of buses to Hawker Approach was the safest and most cost-effective.

“With the need for more buses to service the school’s growing population and a greater influx of families, using the existing carparks, safety of our students and families is paramount,” he said.

“Members of State Parliament visited the school site in 2016 to see first-hand the issues being experienced. Then-transport minister and departmental advisers all were in agreement the bus bays would best suit future needs if they were located outside the school perimeter.”

City engineering and works services director Oliver Darby said the City was calling for written submissions and residents’ feedback.

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