CLOSE to 140 redundant bus stops in Newcastle could be converted to parking under plans being considered by the council and relevant government authorities.
The stops, which have not been used since Keolis Downer changed the region’s bus routes in January, are dotted throughout a range of suburbs in Newcastle, and there are others in Lake Macquarie.
Beaumont Street had its bus stops converted to 12 hybrid parking spaces in August, but hundreds of possible spaces remain as bus stops across the region.
On the western side of Broadmeadow station, an unused stop could provide drop-off and pick-up parking for a short time period.
In other suburbs, converted stops could be a valuable addition for local residents.
Newcastle City Council confirmed it was planning to remove close to 140 stops identified by Keolis Downer as no longer in use.
“We've provided a list of the stops to all bus operators in the Newcastle local government area to ensure no stops are removed that are still required for private bus routes or school services,” a council spokesperson said.
“Once the list is finalised, the bus stops will be removed following approval from the Newcastle City Traffic Committee.
“The stop areas will then be returned to parking for community use, with the type of parking kept consistent with existing parking zones within each area.
“This will help support parking turnover and availability, particularly in commercial or high-use areas.”
Keolis Downer’s director corporate affairs Andrew Fletcher said many of the redundant bus stops in Newcastle were in suburban areas where there was no paid parking.
He said Keolis Downer had provided the two councils with a list of redundant stops earlier this year after the network changes.
Lake Macquarie council did not confirm how many bus stops were redundant in its local government area.
“Council investigates bus stops that may no longer be required on a case-by-case basis, in conjunction with the relevant bus service provider, when requests from the community are received,” a council spokesperson said.
“When assessing the need for a bus stop, we consider things such as whether the stop is still required for school bus services, if it is of benefit to the on-demand bus service, and potential costs associated with the removal of any infrastructure.
“Where it is identified that a stop is no longer required, any changes to signage are considered at the Lake Macquarie City Council Traffic Facilities and Road Safety Committee and implemented following council approval.”
Newcastle City Council did not give a time frame for when it would convert any redundant bus stops.
The Newcastle City Traffic Committee is comprised of members from Newcastle City Council, Roads & Maritime Services, Newcastle Police, and offices of the MPs for Newcastle, Charlestown and Wallsend.
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