PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: Mr TUDGE (Aston) (10.36 am)—In the newsletter I sent to my constituents in October, I asked for their views on the Stud Road bus lane.
Stud Road is the only north-south road that travels through the city of Knox, and as such it is a very important arterial connecting our community. The response that I received to my newsletter was overwhelming.
About 90 per cent of the respondents asked that the bus lane be removed or amended. They said that it was unnecessary, it was dangerous and it was adding to congestion.
I have with me some comments from those residents. Sherman from Wantirna says, ‘The bus lanes are dangerous, a waste of space and in my opinion a waste of good taxpayers money.’ Victor from Rowville says: ‘It is a ridiculous and very, very dangerous bus lane. It is unwarranted and dangerous because at various points four lanes suddenly become two lanes.’ Ian from Bayswater puts it very simply: ‘It needs to be scrapped, urgently.’
I could not agree more with these sentiments expressed by local Knox residents. The bus lane is dangerous. The lane does add to, rather than subtract from, urban traffic congestion. And, with only six to seven buses travelling down the Stud Road per hour, it does not warrant a dedicated lane.
I have asked the responsible minister to scrap the bus lane and start again or at the very least undertake a full evaluation of it. If such an evaluation were undertaken, it would reveal that the number of buses does not warrant a dedicated bus lane, it would reveal how dangerous it is when traffic has to constantly merge in and out to avoid the bus lane and it would enable a full consideration of the constructive suggestions that local residents have already made, including changing the bus lane to a bus priority lane or having priority signals for buses at traffic lights, rather than having a dedicated bus lane which cars cannot use.
We do need to ensure that buses can meet their schedules, but let us not make that happen at the considerable expense of all other road users, including putting motorists at risk. There are smarter options available. I urge the minister to heed my request to scrap the Stud Road bus lane or at the very least undertake a full evaluation of it. Thank you.