School to open with no student bus service
THE NEW Bellbird Park State Secondary College is set to open but as of today there is still no approved bus route for students to get to school.
The new school, with an initial intake of Year 7 students, opens to pupils on Monday and Translink is in negotiations with Westside Bus Company to get a designated bus route for students with pick up points.
So far the names of 30 students have been given to the bus company by parents wanting to send their children on public transport. Translink has provided the QT with a list of bus services that go past the school which students can use.
A spokesperson said "TransLink will continue to monitor enrolment data and bus services in the area" before instituting a student specific bus service.
But the lack of any clear information about when the designated bus route will be approved and finalised is frustrating parents.
Some have contacted local councillor Paul Tully's office with their concerns. The issue is that many of the students have working parents who will need to rely on public transport to get their children to and from school.
One parent has said at this stage they are left in a situation of "not knowing how we will be getting our kids to school".
Some parents have blamed the bus company, but the QT understands that Westside Bus Company is not the issue and that it is keen to get the route finalised with Translink. Cr Tully has urged Translink to resolve the issue and get the designated bus route approved so students had a safe trip from their front door to the school and back.
"This needs to be finalised urgently," Cr Tully said.
"The school opens on Monday and parents still haven't been informed that there is an approved bus route.
"Translink needs to move quickly and advise all parents. They've had 18 months to finalise the bus route."
The Translink spokesperson said there were "three bus routes which service Bellbird Park State Secondary College School and at Jones Road adjacent to the school".
The spokesperson said morning services were:
*5213 servicing Redbank Plains, Goodna, and Bellbird Park.
*5202 and 5231 servicing the school from Goodna Train Station along Bertha St and Jones Rd
The spokesperson said afternoon services, between the school and Goodna Train Station along Jones Rd and Bertha St, were:
*6203 and 6231 - Bellbird Park and Goodna Station
*6214 - Bellbird Park, Goodna and Redbank Station
But Cr Kerry Silver, who represents suburbs such as Collingwood Park, said students who were going to Bellbird Park school from Collingwood Park would not be catered for by the current routes.
She backed Cr Tully's call and said Translink "should put in a designated school bus service for students".
"Then parents would feel much safer because their child gets on and off the bus near home rather than changing.
"But from Gibbs Avenue at Collingwood Park for instance they would need to get the 525 to Duncan St and then the 526 to Jones Rd, Bellbird Park and then walk a kilometre. That would take around an hour.
"The more we have people putting kids onto school buses the less inclined parents will be to drive to schools.
"We want less impact on our roads."