Upgrading of the dangerous bus stop opposite the Tuckerbox general store at Lake Tabourie now has the thumbs up from Shoalhaven City Council.
Coincidentally yesterday (January 7), only hours after an 85-year-old local man was almost mown down by a truck, Assets Manager Martin Upitis committed council to starting roadworks shortly.
His commitment is great news for bus commuters from the village, after the Times first reported their safety concerns last September (2015).
The Tuckerbox is a bus ticketing agent and proprietor David Little shares their relief at the good news.
Around 20 local users of the bus stop experience the danger of passing traffic, especially if it is coming from both directions when a bus is pulling into the narrow bitumen bay to pick up northbound passengers.
“I watch them crossing the highway from this side all the time, especially the older ones, and worry particularly when they’re waiting for the six o’clock bus in the dark in winter,” Mr Little said.
Yesterday he watched Teddy Radford try to cross the Princes Highway safely as a large truck bore down on Mr Radford and the driver had to slow almost to a stop.
This morning, a shaken Mr Radford, who needs to carry a small fold-up walker to sit on while he waits for the bus said “he was doing more than 80, I can tell you”.
The current stop is in an 80 kilometres an hour speed zone with a 1.5 metre drop-off into a ditch beside a wire fence immediately behind the pick up point.
Council wants to move the bus stop north by 20-30 metres to enable construction of a slab wide enough to accommodate a shelter.
Mr Upitis says “council is willing to pay for the slab and has committed to widening the bitumen bay to make it safe, regardless of when a shelter is installed”.
Claude Outdoor, a company that builds bus shelters in the Shoalhaven at no charge to the council is keen to build the shelter and has been looking for a local advertiser to offset construction costs.
Claude has approached several local businesses.
“The roadworks would be a local Ulladulla council project,” Mr Upitis said.
“Widening and getting a road crew there would be the bigger cost.
“We’re hoping Claude will advise within the next few weeks that they can provide the shelter and we would then get the slab ready.
“Or if not, in the coming budget council could make provision to build its own shelter.”
Mr Upitis said council renewed its contract with Claude Outdoor for the Shoalhaven in the middle of last year.
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