No Long-term Bus Layover in Castle Street, Castle Hill NSW!
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The Hon. Andrew Constance MP, NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure: Please instruct Sydney Metro to withdraw Castle Street, Castle Hill as a site under consideration for temporary or permanent location of long-term bus layover.
It has come to the attention of the Castle Hill High School Parents and Citizens Association that Transport NSW have recently presented a draft proposal to relocate the Castle Hill bus layover to Castle Street. Despite being identified as an issue for some years, as part of the Sydney Metro Railway planning & works, a permanent site for relocation has yet to be secured, so Transport NSW are seeking a temporary relocation to be used for approximately 3 years.
The draft proposal outlines that up to 10 buses are to use this extended layover zone in Castle Street 24 hours a day and that a dedicated driver’s facility needs to be constructed.
The proposal stipulates a loss of 35 street parking spaces in Castle Street, leaving only 3 spaces. The rest of Castle Street would be bus zones with no stopping and no parking.
The driver’s facility will consist of a meal room and two bathrooms. The proposal indicates that this facility will either be located on the school oval, claiming a section of land near the goal posts, or locating it in front of Castle Hill Bowling Club next to their garden.
Transport NSW has identified two alternate sites that are under consideration; Castle Hill Showground and Hillsbus depot at Dural. Castle Street is currently the Dept. of Transport’s preferred choice. The relocation must be completed by 1st Jan 2018 including a 4-week period prior to that which will see building of driver facility.
The bus layover would result in restricted visibility for pedestrians and drivers, since a large number of buses will be parked on both sides of the street. Consequently, we have very serious concerns about safety relating to the access and egress to Castle Hill High School for students, staff, parents and visitors, as well as accessibility for patrons, members and staff to the local clubs situated in Castle Street. This would especially problematic during school drop off and pick up times.
We believe congestion of traffic on Castle St would increase - which will place additional pressure on surrounding streets which are already overwhelmed due to existing traffic congestion and the current inadequacy of available street parking.
The loss of all street parking, at any time, in the area immediately surrounding Castle Hill High School will have a significant impact for staff, students, parents and visitors wishing to access the school and to staff, members and patrons accessing the Castle Hill Bowling Club and Castle Hill RSL.
Castle Hill High School is continuously growing and the space needed to accommodate the increasing number of staff and students is already being challenged and so we find claiming school grounds on which to place a dedicated driver facility wholly inappropriate and unacceptable.
The current proposal is for 10 buses for three years; however, we are concerned that this is the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ and that the conditions of this agreement could be changed in the future, especially as we have been told there are still no plans for a permanent site.
We are vehemently opposed to a bus layover being located on Castle Street. On behalf of the Castle Street community we respectfully ask The Hon. Andrew Constance MP, NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, to instruct Sydney Metro to immediately withdraw Castle Street, Castle Hill as a site under consideration for temporary or permanent location of long-term bus layover.
Castle Hill High School Parents & Citizens Association
Castle St, Castle Hill, NSW 2154
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