Buses or bust for growing North Epping estate

Northern Weekly,
Helen Grimaux,
27 January 2014

There’s a new hope for the Aurora Community Association campaign to get buses to bus stops already on the streets of North Epping.

Freedom of Information documents obtained by the Labor opposition reveal Public Transport Victoria will put forward plans to extend bus services in Epping North and Wollert to this year’s state budget.

Nowhere to go: Kaviya, 5, Jotha Lingaiah, Tony Francis, Cara Horner, Amber, 3, and Joanna Durst at the bus stop on Edgars Road in Epping North, which still has no bus service. Photo: Scott McNaughton

The FoI documents stated: “Plans for Route 575 include restructuring the route so it runs along a more direct alignment and operates more frequently.”

Those words are music to the ears of association secretary Cara Horner.

There are more than 20 bus stops dotted about the maze of new streets around the estate, the centrepiece of an area that is being called home by as many as 4000 arrivals each year. One dead-end street has two stops.

“People are walking literally kilometres along unmade roads to access public transport,” Ms Horner said. “In many places there are no footpaths, just ditches … it’s very dangerous and inappropriate.

“Now it’s up to the state government to find the funds.”

Ms Horner has lived at the Aurora estate for seven years and, like many other residents, has a young family.

Often such families only have one car, which usually means mothers and children rely on public transport.

“It’s pretty tough when people are moving in, when they’ve been told to come and live out here,” Ms Horner said.

“It’s certainly not fair.”

Reference

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