Call to improve bus services in the Port Macquarie-Hastings

Residents are calling for improved bus services in the Port Macquarie-Hastings and Camden Haven.
Residents are calling for improved bus services in the Port Macquarie-Hastings and Camden Haven.

Changes to include direct services from Laurieton to educational facilities in Port Macquarie are being considered, according to a spokesperson from Transport NSW.

The company is working with local bus operators with a view to implement minor network improvements.

The Transport NSW spokesperson said the plan for direct services from Laurieton to Port Macquarie schools and colleges will be raised in consultation with stakeholders.

The news comes after Camden Haven resident Danielle Bates called for more designated bus stops in Laurieton and direct routes to connect young people to educational facilities in Port Macquarie.

Lake Cathie resident Claire Briggs is a strong advocate for public transport but said it's such a poor service from outlying villages, people might as well not bother.

"The Port Macquarie-Hastings region has grown dramatically over the years, it is time to get the benefit of extra services," she said.

Claire is an advocate of the park and ride scheme. It enables parking lots to be connected to public transport and allows commuters heading to city centres to leave their vehicles and transfer to a bus.

"Could you imagine the improved traffic if half of the Wauchope and western village commuters jumped on a bus near Billabong Zoo?," she said.

Claire also raised other ideal locations for a parking hub, such as Houston Mitchell or just south of the new aged care facility near the Port Macquarie Golf Course.

"We are all attached to our vehicles and the freedom we get from driving ourselves to work, but get frustrated when stuck in traffic jams due to the sheer weight of traffic that we are causing," she said.

"People can't choose alternative transport options if there are no services offered.

"The current bus timetable does not offer a service to anyone getting to work or attending education beyond high school."

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said priorities for new and improved services include improving access to education and health services, increased day return services and extension of hours.

"Planning for improved bus services in Port Macquarie will support the community's priorities and will be underpinned with consultation from all stakeholders," she said.

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