Transport for NSW has tabled a fresh proposal for a bus layover site in Newcastle’s east end which involves the removal of the layover in Church Street that has had residents up in arms.
The proposal was sent to members of the Newcastle City Traffic Committee at the weekend ahead of Monday’s regular monthly meeting.
No definitive outcome was reached during the meeting, but plans are in place for committee members to meet again later this week to discuss the removal of the Church Street layover.
Last week when the committee meeting agenda was set, it was revealed that Transport for NSW had not conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment before deciding to move from the old layover site next to the The Station up to Church Street in November.
It also showed Transport for NSW, along with Keolis Downer, was considering maintaining the Church Street site and spreading bus layovers across it and an additional two sites nearby.
But the Newcastle Herald understands the shift now being considered, which comes on the back of Transport for NSW and Keolis Downer’s fresh proposal, involves a new layover site in Bolton Street and possibly Watt Street.
City of Newcastle staff had proposed seven possible sites for a new layover in the east end, but Transport for NSW and Keolis Downer did not advise the committee in advance on why those sites were not feasible.
Residents made 17 formal objections to Keolis Downer during its initial consultation period before the establishment of Church Street and have made a barrage of complaints since about noise, fumes, lights and oil spills.
Newcastle state MP Tim Crakanthorp met with residents in one of the heritage-listed homes alongside the layover site to discuss their concerns last Friday.
Mr Crakanthorp said on Monday after the traffic committee meeting he was hoping for an outcome this week.
“It has become clear that the government has closed the bus layover at Newcastle Station without any adequate plan for alternative bus layover facilities in the Newcastle CBD,” he said.
“The Church Street layover has been a nightmare for local residents and businesses, would the minister like to have hundreds of bus movements on his front door step?
“Transport for NSW and Keolis Downer must come to this meeting with an open mind and work to find more suitable locations for CBD bus layovers.
“I will continue to work with residents and businesses to have it relocated to an alternative location.”
City of Newcastle staff are working to arrange a meeting of the committee members.