Bus stops face long wait for a clean-up
WAITING for a bus on the Tweed may continue to be an unhappy experience for many travellers surrounded by litter and filthy graffiti on damaged bus shelters.
On top of that, all Tweed residents face mounting bills through their annual rates for maintaining bus shelters. Tweed Shire Council admits it does not have the resources either financial or physical to maintain its 165 bus shelters, many of which are consistently targeted by vandals.
Yesterday the council's acting director engineering and operations Ian Munro said money spent repairing and cleaning damaged shelters could be put to better use elsewhere in the shire. "Most of the shelters require little maintenance or graffiti removal but there are a few, particularly in the more urban areas of the shire, that come under attack regularly," Mr Munro said. "This needless damage is a cost to ratepayers as well as being unsightly for public transport users," he said. A report to the council's administrators Max Boyd and Frank Willan this week revealed the council is set to spend $118.50 on each bus shelter next year in maintenance, cleaning and repairs a total of $19,553.
But the report estimates the council really needs to spend about $300,000 a year, around $51,000 for collecting litter at the bus shelters, $126,000 for cleaning and graffiti removal and $123,000 for structural repairs due to vandalism.
"The report demonstrates how much more money would be needed to maintain bus shelters," said Mr Willan.
"To provide the full maintenance would stretch Council."
Instead the council is seeking help from Federal MP for Richmond Justine Elliot to make a formal application to the Federal Government which it says "is interested" in providing up to $200,000 to "assist bus shelter safety, security and maintenance".
The council report reveals a long list of bus shelters which last year each cost $1500 to repair, about the same to clean and about $300 to collect litter.