Controversial: Warrenheip Street’s retail strip bus stop is adjacent to a pedestrian crossing. Photo: FILE

Settle says bus stop should stay

April 15, 2021 BY

ALTHOUGH it may be shortened, the four hundred-block Warrenheip Street bus stop in Buninyong will likely remain after the City’s streetscape redevelopment.

Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle conducted a survey recently to hear whether the retail strip’s unusually long bus stop to stay, or be removed to allow for more carparking, plants, al fresco dining areas or seating.

There are other bus stops on Warrenheip Street, just 150 metres to the north and to the south of it.

Seventy per cent of Ms Settle’s survey responders voted to decommission the one in question, while 30 per cent said no.

“I do not support moving the bus stop as local school students use the pedestrian crossing, elderly and disabled need a stop close to amenities, and V/Line passengers waiting late at night need shelter,” she said.

“I support council’s plans as they meet many of the concerns raised including reducing the size of the bus stop and concrete waiting area.

“The $600,000 Buninyong Streetscape Project will see a big improvement in our area with new seating, paving, tree planting and parking for Warrenheip Street, and I look forward to seeing work start before June 30 this year.”

Buninyong & District Community Association executive Robert Elshaug said Ms Settle’s decision not to continue lobbying the Minister for Transport regarding bus stop relocation was “very disappointing to our community.”

“Her process is very strange given that she had invited the community to express their views and that over 70 per cent responded that they wanted the bus stop removed from its mid-Warrenheip Street location. How can such a result be ignored by a politician?” he said.

“She refers to safety and equity issues as being ones which convinced her on this matter, but PTV’s own usage data shows that the stop is little-used.

“That added to her very clear survey results, council survey results… and the views put by key community groups and individuals, leaves us scratching our heads.”

The redevelopment of Buninyong’s streetscape has always had financial backing from the Buninyong and District Community Bank, as long as a consultation process heard broad views from residents.

Ian Corcoran is the Community Bank’s chair and said conditions have been met.

“We’re satisfied that sufficient community consultation was undertaken, and the agreed course of planning will go ahead,” he said.

The City of Ballarat’s project planning process is nearly finished after community consultation. The works are also financially supported by Regional Development Victoria.