POSSIBLE CHANGE: A file photo of a bus stop. Many redundant bus stops in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie could be converted to parking. Picture: Marina NeilCLOSE to 140 redundant bus stopsin Newcastle could be converted to parking underplans being considered by the council and relevant government authorities.
The stops, which have not beenused since Keolis Downer changed the region’s bus routes in January, are dotted throughouta range of suburbs in Newcastle,and there are others in Lake Macquarie.
Beaumont Street had its bus stops converted to 12 hybrid parking spaces in August, but hundreds of possible spaces remain as bus stops across the region.
Onthe western side of Broadmeadow station, an unused stop could provide drop-off and pick-up parking for a short time period.
In other suburbs, converted stops could be a valuable addition forlocal residents.
Newcastle City Council confirmed it was planning to remove close to 140 stops identifiedby Keolis Downer as no longer in use.
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“Once the list is finalised, the bus stops will be removed following approval from the Newcastle City Traffic Committee.
“The stop areas will then be returned to parking for community use, with the type of parking kept consistent with existing parking zones within each area.
“This will help support parking turnover and availability, particularly in commercial or high-use areas.”
Keolis Downer’s director corporate affairsAndrew Fletcher said many of the redundantbus stops in Newcastle were in suburban areas where there was no paid parking.
He said Keolis Downer had provided the two councils with a list of redundant stops earlier this year after the network changes.
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Lake Macquarie councildid not confirm how many bus stops were redundant in its local government area.
“Councilinvestigates bus stops that may no longer be required on a case-by-case basis, in conjunction with the relevant bus service provider, when requests from the community are received,”a council spokesperson said.
“When assessing the need for a bus stop, we consider things such as whether the stop is still required for school bus services, if it is of benefit to the on-demand bus service, and potential costs associated with the removal of any infrastructure.
“Where it is identified that a stop is no longer required, any changes to signage are considered at the Lake Macquarie City Council Traffic Facilities and Road Safety Committee and implemented following council approval.”
Newcastle City Council did not give a timeframe for when it wouldconvert any redundant bus stops.
The Newcastle City Traffic Committee is comprised of members from Newcastle City Council, Roads & Maritime Services, Newcastle Police, and offices of the MPs for Newcastle, Charlestown and Wallsend.