Com­plaints con­tinue over taxi and bus stop lo­ca­tions

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Sharon Small­wood

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.

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