Bendigo bus plan gets green light

CONCERNS over the Mitchell Street bus stops are closer to being resolved. 

City of Greater Bendigo councillors last night voted to adopt a concept plan for the area which would widen footpaths, expand and improve waiting areas and give passengers live timetabling information. 

Several councillors noted the issue had been running for several years but said it was important the matter was resolved properly. 

“We want to make sure we get this right,” Councillor James Reade said. 

“We want to get the best solutions. 

“I believe we’re on the best track... after a long process.”

The council will need to allocate $3 million for improvement works to Mitchell Street and surrounds in the next budget and is likely to seek more state government funding for the new timetabling system, which is currently being rolled out in Melbourne. 

Cr Reade said live timetabling would mean bus users would not need to get to the station before they had to, which could ease overcrowding. 

Detailed plans will be created followed by further community consultation. 

There are two concept plans for a large station at the Mitchell Street end of Hargreaves Mall: one a free-standing structure, the other a shelter spanning the width of the mall. 

Councillor Bruce Phillips said the upgrades could help rejuvenate the mall and said public transport in Bendigo “needs all the help it can get”. 

Councillor Keith Reynard said there could eventually be dedicated bus lanes in the city and described the new concept plans as a good start. 

Councillor Lisa Ruffell was the only councillor to vote against the plans.

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