Complaints continue over taxi and bus stop locations
MEMBERS of the community are continuing to raise concerns over issues surrounding buses and taxis on the newly refurbished Airlie Beach main street.
Last month, Whitsunday taxi drivers joined forces to complain about the proposal to move the taxi rank to a new location outside the Airlie Beach supermarket ( Whitsunday Times, September 12).
Drivers said the proposed location was unsuitable due to sharp entry and exit angles, narrow pathways for queuing customers, lack of shelter and no access for wheelchairs or prams.
Mackay/Whitsunday Taxis general manager Gary Button said this week that after discussions with Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR), it was determined that this location was “not compliant”. He said the latest proposal was for the taxi rank to be located on the opposite side of the street, outside McDonalds, which would require some infrastructure work on Council’s part.
However, retired taxi and bus driver Lenny Dawson says the overwhelming feedback from members of the community is that “the public wants the cab rank [back] where it was” although this is where the buses now stop.
Mr Dawson believes that buses should not be using the new main street, due to issues with pollution and the road’s ability to cope.
“For the last 12 months the buses have been going around Waterson Way so why can’t they continue to do so?” he asked.
Nonetheless, Whitsunday Transit operations manager Chris Harvey says it was never part of the Airlie revitalisation strategy for buses to be moved to Waterson Way.
“Shoppers to that area deserve the best possible transport service,” he said.
Meanwhile, Council and DTMR issued a joint statement saying the proposed stops were “under review”.
“The Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) has met with Mayor Whitney and other members of the Whitsunday Regional Council to discuss alternative locations for taxi ranks and bus stops,” the statement said.
“WRC are currently looking at costs and timeframes for other suitable locations for these stops in conjunction with DTMR.”
Council’s CEO Scott Waters said until a permanent solution was accepted by all parties, the temporary taxi rank on Shute Harbour Road would remain.
PUT IT BACK: Retired taxi and bus driver Lenny Dawson is just one local resident who believes the Airlie Beach taxi rank should go back to where it was before the street was upgraded.