With chants of “Let’s save the run on the 311,” around 70 people rallied outside Parliament House last Wednesday [13 May] continuing their campaign to restore the deleted Elizabeth Bay loop to the 311 bus route.
But David Campbell, the Minister for Transport, says the buses will be restored if Council removes a number of parking spots that obstruct the buses.
A petition of 1,475 signatures was accepted by MLCs Sylvia Hale (Greens) and Lynda Voltz (Labor). During the rally news arrived that the Lower House would also accept a petition, and Member for Sydney Clover Moore arrived afterwards.
The continuing campaign is achieving some profile, having received airtime on Channel Nine and ABC TV and radio.
Protesters say the change leaves many residents virtually housebound as they don’t own cars, and people with mobility problems now face steep hills to reach the nearest stop. Protesters had hired a community bus to get to the protest.
They have invited Transport Minister David Campbell to “take the step test” and accompany them on the steep walk.
Sylvia Hale was applauded when she spoke to the group, saying, “At a time when we need people to stop using their cars, to cut a route like this flies in the face of everything this government should be doing.”
Organisers say the campaign will continue until the route is restored.
Transport Minister David Campbell said his office had spoken with the group on a number of occasions, including as recently as the day before.
“I have also invited them to a meeting with me. I am yet to hear if they have accepted that offer,” he said.
“I travel on the 311 route frequently and I have already walked up these steps. As I have said previously, State Transit will run buses along Billyard Avenue if Council removes the car parking spaces that currently prevent this.”
Asked about removing the spaces, Council had not responded by our print deadlines. The protesters are planning further actions.