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BUS-TED !!!!!

Tags: Light Electorate / Roads / Public Transport

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  • By Light Electoral Office
  • Jun 29, 2020
BUS-TED !!!!!

 

Leading the campaign against bus cuts in Gawler were (from left) Bernice O’Leary, Tony Piccolo MP, Veronica Schiller and Pam Abbott.

 

Community anger and a strong campaign by the State Labor Opposition has forced the Marshall Liberal Government into a humiliating backdown over its proposed cuts to public transport that would have seen 57 bus stops in the Light Electorate headed for the scrapheap with two bus routes axed.

News of the cuts generated growing anger in the local community as people started to realise the full extent of the proposed cuts.

Local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo said the proposed bus cuts would have affected students travelling to local schools, older people attending medical appointments and those just seeking to do their shopping or catch up with friends.

“The cuts would have had a devasting effect on people in the community where public transport is their only travel option,” said Mr Piccolo.

“For many people, and these are often our most vulnerable, they don’t have any alternative, and cutting bus services would create greater social isolation in our community.”

After the Government originally announced the planned removal of 500 bus stops across the state, SA Labor revealed this week that the actual number is 1,069, which is more than double the number of stops the Government initially promised to cut.

Local residents had expressed their deep frustration with the Government’s proposals to change the current bus service, with Pam Abbott one such angry regular bus user.

“I’m 86 years old and I can’t walk to the shops, so I have to use the bus,” Ms Abbott explained.

“I need the bus service.”

Another elderly resident, Veronica Schiller, explained that she and so many others her age required the bus service as it was the only alternative to walking great distances.

“I still drive but it won’t be for much longer and then I’ll be relying on the bus to get to my medical and my shopping,” she said.

“I’m 78 and Gawler’s geography is hilly; I don’t think Mr Knoll realises that.”

Bernice O’Leary chose her unit specifically due to its proximity to a bus stop, allowing her to more easily visit her son in Hewett.

“There was a whole three months when I broke bones in my hand when I couldn’t drive, so there are times when I rely on the bus,” Ms O’Leary explained.

“It’s been ever so convenient knowing that that the bus was there.”

When it came to the behaviour of the Marshall Liberal Government and its embattled Transport Minister, Mr Stephan Knoll, there was a clear consensus amongst the residents that they were unhappy with their conduct.

“I’d tell Mr Knoll that I’ll use his chauffeur-driven car to get around Gawler if that’s his attitude about taking our buses away,” Ms Abbott said.

“Minister Knoll ditch your car and use public transport for a month all over Gawler, Adelaide and the Barossa and see how you get on,” Ms Schiller added.

Mr Piccolo was clear in his support of local residents and backed their opposition to the extreme and misguided proposal.

“We must hold them accountable for their absurd decision and let them know that we will not stand for our government stripping the public of one of its most crucial services,” he said.


 


 

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