Almost 80 residents were in attendance at the Public Meeting arranged by BeCA at the request of Mark Bailey, the Minister for Transportation and Main Roads, to provide feedback to Translink on how bus services could be returned for Bells Reach and Bellvista, including the re servicing of the 6 recently closed bus stops.
TransLink staff outlined planning to extend the former 603 bus route to service Baringa. The new route had to balance total journey times against residential coverage to ensure operational efficiency and deliver the maximum number of daily services.
Additionally, in order to improve the on-time running of the former lengthy 603 route (which had centred on Caloundra but ended at one end at Caloundra Race Course with Baringa at the other), the route was split into 2 separate new bus routes, with Route 606 serving Caloundra West and Baringa.
The new 606 route runs from Caloundra to Baringa but includes servicing the Caloundra Industrial area.
Regretfully for local residents, to improve total journey times and because of low patronage levels, Translink decided that the Bells Reach/Bellvista stops were to be closed.
BeCA believes this was an error of judgement by Translink and this incorrect decision could have been dealt with much more successfully if there had have been some consultation with the community.
Upon Minster Bailey’s advice to improve access to Bells Reach and Bellvista residents, consideration is now being given as to how services can be reintroduced to Bells Reach/Bellvista.
TransLink are currently investigating providing services to the recently closed bus stops in Bells Reach and Bellvista along with stops at Caloundra Hospital, Stockland Shopping Centre and Caloundra Bus station.
Some residents were keen for as many daily services as possible to allow residents to use the new service to get to and from work.
Others were keen to see some of the current services to Baringa diverted back through Bells Reach and Bellvista as a cheaper alternative.
A variety of views and needs were raised from the floor. There needed to be connecting services to Landsborough Station as well as Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
It was obvious not everyone’s needs would be served as the budget strings were fairly tight.
TransLink committed to come up with a suitable outcome within the costing constraints to satisfy as many concerns and requests as possible. Regretfully not everyone’s needs will be satisfied.
The final route, timing and service frequency of the service are currently under investigation by TransLink and further details will be provided to BeCA and the community when available.