State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will today call on the Transport Minister to approve an application to increase school bus services in Minmi, Fletcher, Maryland and Wallsend.
Late last year, Ms Hornery supported an application by Hunter Valley Buses to completely overhaul the school bus routes in the area which would see new estates serviced by school buses and help reduce traffic congestion around local schools.
The Department have been sitting on the application for five months now and in the meantime, students are still being forced to cross Minmi Road in areas where there are no safe crossing points, students are being driven to school because buses don’t service the new subdivisions being built and traffic congestion continues to cause frustration for residents on a daily basis.
Ms Hornery is calling on the Minister to approve the application and get more students on buses and more cars off the streets around our school.
“It is ridiculous that five months after an application was lodged we are still without any clue as to when or if we will see improved services,” Ms Hornery said.
“We have seen a rapid increase in population across the Wallsend, Maryland, Minmi and Fletcher areas.
“Fletcher in particular has had a number new estates come online in the past few years and the population has more than doubled since 2011.
“The area is slated for further growth in the short term with thousand more blocks of land due to be developed.
“As a result of this, the demand and need for school bus access has grown and with the main arterial road through the area, Minmi Road, becoming increasingly congested, having a school bus service that services each of the new estates is essential.
“Currently students are left to cross the busy Minmi Road at points that are unsafe and I have been advocating for better services to the new estates which would eliminate the need for students to cross the road.
“The Minister can fix this with the stroke of a pen and I am calling on him to do this immediately,” said Ms Hornery.