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Bus stop move on hold

The current bus stop on the left, and the proposed new site next to a car park [background]. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER

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Moving a school bus stop only metres from its present site could reduce vandalism, increase car parks and provide shelter for the students during the wet winter months, Carterton District Council has been told.

Discussions at Wednesday’s Carterton District Council infrastructure and services meeting included an application for a bus stop on Dixon St used by Carterton School to be relocated just metres down the road to Holloway St, after years of issues with property destruction and trespassing.

One of the affected Carterton residents, who did not wish to be named, said the issues ranged from their fence being continuously defaced with offensive images to rubbish being thrown all over their garden.

She said they had received “awesome co-operation from the school” but the students’ behaviour could sometimes be “rude and disrespectful”.

It became clear during the meeting that the stop was also used by students from Kuranui College, who had been involved in removing flowers from one of the residents’ gardens as well as smoking on their property.

Kuranui College acting principal Maree Patten said she was aware of past incidents involving a small number of students and had been working with the residents to resolve the issue, which included support of the bus stop being relocated.

“We are very supportive of the move to what will be a much more appropriate location and one that will provide a bit more shelter from the weather,” she said.

The suggested location for the new stop is next to the car parking area where there are existing on-street parks, which would be restricted to use outside of the bus times.

The resident told the Times-Age she was also concerned about the students’ well-being, as they had nowhere to wait for the bus when it rained, forcing them to take shelter under her doorway.

“There are 15-plus kids that wait for the bus and nowhere for them to stand or sit,” she said.

“The new stop will be a better site – it’s only metres away and we’ve requested the council put up a shelter as there’s space for it there.”

She said driving in and out of their property was a safety concern and believed the new site would give the kids much safer access to get off the bus and walk to school.

She was really pleased with how the council had responded so far and hoped the request would be approved for the sake of everyone involved.

“The council have listened to us, they’ve been really awesome.”

Carterton School principal Alison Woollard was present at the meeting and said there were pros and cons to both sites.

One concern she had was the increased number of students who would have to cross the school driveway, including some crossing at a time when a teacher would not be on duty.

“We need time to go out to our community and our board to hear their views so I’m asking for [the decision] to be deferred until term two.”

She also asked the council to conduct a risk assessment to help the school make its recommendation to council.

These requests were supported by email correspondence sent to council by community members.

The council agreed to defer the decision until a later date but there was no mention made of building a shelter.

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