Community campaign attempts to stop bus layover

CONCERNS: The proposed bus layover could cause significant safety issues for students at Castle Hill High School.

CONCERNS: The proposed bus layover could cause significant safety issues for students at Castle Hill High School.

A Transport for NSW draft proposal to create a bus layover in Castle Hill has received strong opposition from stakeholders.

Castle Hill High School, Castle Hill RSL and Castle Hill Bowling Club are fighting against plans to allow 10 buses to be parked on Castle Street.

The proposal would see the street lose 35 out of 38 street parking spaces, and letter sent out from Castle Hill High School Parents and Citizens Association states that the buses will restrict visibility for pedestrians and motorists.

The plans include acquiring green space from Castle Hill High School to build a driver’s facility, with a meal room and two bathrooms.

Castle Street is the only road to access Castle Hill High School, which has an estimated 1600 students and 100 staff.

It is also the only road to access Castle Hill RSL and Castle Hill Bowling Club, which attract a lot of traffic daily to use facilities at both venues.

Castle Hill High School principal Vicki Brewer, parents and citizens committee president Ingrid Waite, Castle Hill RSL chief executive David O’Neil and Castle Hill Bowling Club chairman Ken Sherwood highlighted their concerns to councillors at the July 11 meeting.

Safety and traffic congestion was the main issues raised. Ms Brewer said it will be dangerous at morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up periods.

“It is already tricky without the 10 buses,” she said.

“I stood outside the school the other day at 3.10pm, and it is hard to see how 10 buses could fit – it’s not possible.”

Mr O’Neil added “I think one of the arterial roads might be more suitable”.

The Hills councillor Jeff Lowe, who helped Castle Hill High School collect signatures for a petition, said action had to be taken now as Transport for NSW want to have the layover in place by January 2018.

He had the support of fellow councillors, with Tony Hay voicing his concerns regarding the plans.

“They have got other options, and I have been totally opposed to this since it was first brought to my attention.” 

Other options include putting the bus layover at Castle Hill Showground or at the Hillsbus depot in Dural.

The community stakeholders addressed councillors as The Hills Council have to make a decision on the matter when Transport for NSW submit an application.

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