||Issue No. 275||05 August 2005|
Interview: On Holiday
Unions: One Day Longer
Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Politics: Spun Out
Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
History: Taking a Stand
International: The Split
Legal: Pushing the Friendship
Poetry: Simple Subtractions
Review: Sydney Trashed
The Locker Room
AFL-CIO Not The Only War
We Love Morris
A Readers Suggestion
Do The Bus Stop
State Transit and Waverley Council signed off on a bus lane at the new Bondi Junction shopping centre without consulting bus drivers, who realised it would lead to lengthy delays and endanger pedestrians.
Drivers pointed out that the new stopping bays were too narrow and mixed pedestrians and buses on the busiest bus corridor in Australia.
"This came about because there was no consultation with the bus drivers,' says Wendy Wirth, a driver from Waverley Bus Depot. "We knew it just wouldn't work.
"It would have caused massive delays and cancellation of trips as there was no room for busses to go past a bus stopped in front."
Drivers from Waverley Depot overwhelmingly supported a ban on the new bus stops when they were constructed last year.
The bans prompted Westfield to launch a campaign against the drivers, advertising in local papers claiming they were inconveniencing the elderly.
The bussies hit back with a concerted community campaign to inform the public, winning widespread support through leafleting Bondi Junction interchange and providing information to passengers on the dangers of the new stopping bays.
"Neither the public nor the union will accept a reduction in public transport facilities," says Raul Boanza from the RTBU.
The successful campaign brought the driver's union, the RTBU, the council, State Transit and Westfield to the table early this year, where the developer agreed to foot the bill for a rebuild of the bus stops.
"We heard a lot from Westfield about the inconvenience to the public during the campaign," says Boanza. "We've had an agreement for eight months. The ball is in their court. We've heard nothing from them about inconveniencing the public since they agreed to fix the problem.
"At this rate they will miss the Christmas sales."
The bill for fixing widening the bus stops is already over $100,000 and rising, and Boanza says that bus drivers simply want the faulty design fixed quickly.
"We just want to hear the sound of jackhammers, not excuses."
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