Many families have been affected by the sudden decision by the Byron Council to no longer let the school buses drive over O’Meara’s Bridge on Binna Burra Rd.
The council and Blanchs Bus Service, both formally informed us yesterday, that because of the new lower load limit of 5 tonnes the bus would no longer be able to pick up children starting from Monday August 24. That‘s less than a weeks’ notice.
From my understanding, the council has been aware for a long time, that the O’Meara’s Bridge has needed repair and or replacement.
As working parents, this is going to have a major impact on our lives. My partner and I both work from 9am to 5 pm in Ballina, and now will have great difficulty getting our children home in the afternoons.
I have rung Byron Council, Blanchs Bus Service, Trinity Catholic College (my children’s school), and numerous numbers that belong to the NSW Department of Transport, only to be told that nobody can help.
Car-pooling is our only option at the moment, but with around 17 kids to pick up, it’s not an easy solution, and will not be a good long term prospect.
The council has said that they will need to apply for funding from the State Government before they can build a new bridge. Even if this is successful, their time frame for possible completion is sometime in 2016.
Bija Nicolson, Binna Burra