ACTION has been taken to make a school bus route safer after a resident raised concerns it posed a danger to both motorists and school children.
Stuart Pinchen contacted Tamworth Buslines and Tamworth Regional Council about the route passing along Manilla Rd near Heritage Park Estate less than a week before a nine-year-old boy was killed in a school bus accident at Singleton last Monday.
Mr Pinchen said there had been instances where cars and trucks had almost run up the backs of buses when they had stopped in the left turning lane into Orley Dr to pick up and drop off children, and other near-misses when the buses pulled back onto Manilla Rd.
He said the practice also blocked visibility for traffic turning out of Orley Dr onto Manilla Rd and caused kids to gather close to the corner.
Tamworth Buslines operations manager David Allen said in response to the concerns the company met with Tamworth Regional Council last week, who agreed to gravel a section on the side of the road about 50m from the corner for buses to stop in.
He said buses were supposed to pull off the road and the company hadn’t been aware of any stopping in the turning lane, but after hearing Mr Pinchen’s concerns the company had reminded drivers they were to pull completely off the road.
The children themselves were also told where the buses would stop so they would wait further from the corner, he said.
It is believed the council plans to grade the side of the road within a month, but until then buses can pull up on the grass.
Mr Allen said the company would call for specially constructed pull-off bays for buses in the Manilla Rd upgrade, the first stage of which is due to start next February.
Mr Pinchen said he was happy the bus company had taken action, but safety would remain a concern of his until Manilla Rd itself was improved.
A map of the most dangerous school bus routes in the region can be found on The Leader’s website.