TRANSPORT TURMOIL

By Danny Saba

The unclear scope of Brisbane City Council’s (BCC) bus review is of “great concern” to the local community, according to Councillor for Tennyson Ward Nicole Johnston.

“The state government’s decision to hand responsibility of the bus review to BCC was one of the most extraordinary local political decisions we’ve seen,” she said.

“While the Translink proposed changes are off the table, the lord mayor has indicated there are likely to be cuts to bus services.”

Cr Johnston says we won’t know what these bus cuts will be until April 22 when BCC announces their review.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said in a media release that no changes to the bus network would be made without BCC’s input.

“Local councillors know their local bus routes and are best placed to identify the needs of local residents,” Mr Emerson said.

Shadow transport minister Jackie Trad said in a statement that the review was a sham from the beginning.

“The minister never mentioned his overarching ambition to slash local community bus routes in favour of peak-hour transit,” she said.

A spokesperson for Community group RAIL Back on Track, Robert Dow, criticised Mr Emerson’s decision to cancel the Translink review.

“There was a hysterical reaction because people just thought their bus routes were going, but actually in many cases there were better arrangements,” he said.

“BCC has been doing it for the last 30 years and all they’ve produced is a fantastic mess.

“A lot of the councillors don’t even know what they’re talking about.

“Nicole Johnston has actually denied her constituents a high frequency bus.”

But Cr Johnston said it is not about denying residents a service.

“You can’t extend a service and then cut all the other routes that service that suburb,” she said.

“Mr Dow should stick to dealing with feedback on trains not busses because clearly he’s not aware of the importance of bus services to local communities.”

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