Bus user Alison Steel is hoping the new bus stop will be in use soon. PTV has said that it will be operational from today

BALLARAT resident Alison Steel says bus users in the Victoria Street area were relieved to see a bus stop installed on the outward bound journey from the Station to Brown Hill (Water Street junction route 15).

She describes it as a ‘very handsome’ bus stop with a cement path to new pedestrian lights, and white pedestrian markings were made on the roads.

“All seemed in readiness,” she said.

“But it is now over a month since the work was completed and we are not allowed to alight from the bus there. To our frustration, the drivers say that until a bus stop pole is installed they are not allowed to stop there.” On a trip last week Ms Steel said it was pouring with rain and the only way she could get home reasonably dry was to travel out to the terminus along Gracefield Road and come back to alight at the inwardbound stop (Victoria Street is a divided road) at the end of Kenny Street.

“The driver had no information to offer about the delay,” she said.

“I phoned PTV (Public Transport Victoria) to ask what is causing the delay and registered a complaint. I have also written to Jacinta Allan, Minister for Transport. “The people affected by this delay are: students at Woodman’s Hill Secondary College in Fussell Street (diagonally opposite the bus stop), staff and visitors to the Geoffrey Cutter Nursing Home and the Eureka Hostel, both in Kenny Street and people like me who live in this area.”

Ms Steel added that she no longer sees many of the people who used the bus service prior to the new route.

With the bus stop at the junction of Victoria and Water Streets currently unusable passengers have the option of alighting one stop prior, outside of Hemsley Park or one stop after, in front of the Caledonian Primary School, or alternatively they can travel to the terminus and back on Victoria Street, with an additional 15 minutes of travel time.

“The other thing is that the stop is on the main road to Melbourne and the other worry is people will not use the traffic lights to cross but rather look for a break in traffic,” Ms Steel added.

PTV spokesperson John Lindsay said, “The new bus stop is part of the new Ballarat Bus Network and is scheduled to come into operation from Thursday 3 August.”

“The new Ballarat Bus network introduced in late January offers more direct and frequent routes that cover more of Ballarat than ever before, providing a more efficient and usable service to passengers.” The stop on Victoria Street near the junction with Water Street first required the installation of the new pedestrian crossing to make it more accessible which is why it is only now being added to the network. PTV adds the new Ballarat Bus Network offers:

•Improved frequency on some routes.

•Better access to Federation University Mount Helen campus.

•Better coordination with trains.

•More direct and logical routes to reduce journey times.

•All buses now operate to and from a central interchange at Ballarat Station.

•Better services for new housing developments at Alfredton, Delacombe and Brown Hill.

•A simpler route structure of 15 direct, frequent routes with 14 converging at Ballarat Station making it easier to navigate.