New bus zone leaves resident high and dry

HOW safe is a bus zone that has been marked on an East Albury street — across an elderly resident’s driveway?

Jean Hoysted was surprised to find this week new bright-yellow lines had been painted outside her Schubach Street home, near the Rau Street roundabout.

The zone is designed to stop cars parking near the bus stop — the problem is, it runs right across her driveway.

“It’s ridiculous, unbelievably ridiculous,” Mrs Hoysted said.

She wasn’t told beforehand of the change.

“I can’t pull up, I can’t park in front of my home,” she said.

“The Albury council says it’s to make room for the bus but it always has its tail out in the middle of the road anyway.”

Roads and Maritime Services rules say “no-stopping” lines — unbroken yellow lines — across driveways make it illegal for vehicles, including taxis, to stop in the driveway.

The bus stop outside her neighbour’s premises — East Side Story cafe — has been in place for about five years, without a designated bus zone.

The council said this meant cars could park, often forcing the bus to stop in the middle of the street.

But Mrs Hoysted and cafe owner Dale Pope said the bus couldn’t fully pull in, even with the new zone.

They said safety was a concern, with the bus stop so close to the intersection, the relatively narrow section of road and a hill crest about 100 metres back.

A former councillor and chairman of the Albury Citizens and Ratepayers Movement, John Emmery has backed Mrs Hoysted.

“It’s costing people their livelihoods and this woman can’t get into her property,” he said.

“The bus stop should be put further down the street where it’s not blocking a driveway.”

Mr Emery said there were better bus-stop sites 100 metres from the intersection.

He also objected to the council’s lack of consultation with residents.

“What’s wrong with the council people knocking on doors and talking to people?” he said.

Mr Emmery said he had already been in touch with the council about the issue.

Albury director of engineering Brad Ferris said other options for the bus zone had been considered — including moving the stop to Rau Street or amalgamating other stops along Schubach Street.

But these options “were not considered practical and would cause further problems along the route,” he said.

Mr Ferris said residents had been contacted by letter on October 22, outlining the proposal and seeking feedback, and council officers had several discussions with residents after that.

“The bus company was also consulted on the process and has approved the works, recognising the safety benefits for passengers using the bus,” he said.

“Council officers will closely monitor the situation to ensure that the safety objectives of the zone are met.”

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