SENIOR citizens who presented a petition with 163 signatories to State Parliament for a bus route to Bentley hospital are unlikely to have the route considered because of low patronage.
On March 15, Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt presented a petition to the Legislative Assembly on behalf of residents from Bentley’s Juniper Aged Care.
The petition stated that the residents were finding it increasingly difficult to get to Bentley Hospital and asked for a bus service direct from Curtin bus port to Bentley Hospital to be considered.
The hospital provides a range of services to residents including mammograms, and bone density and blood testing.
Spearheaded by resident representatives Judith Robertson and Julie Atkinson, the petition had signatures from almost 75 per cent of residents who pledged to use the service if it was implemented.
“We were pleased because there are 220 people living in the village,” Mrs Atkinson said.
“All the signatories said they would use a service. If you have no children, friends or relatives to take you … like my situation, you can’t get there (easily).”
The pair, who have been lobbying for a change for two years, said they were disappointed the State Government was not listening to seniors.
“Please listen to the elderly population, never mind jobs and growth, we’ve all worked we’re all past that so how about looking after us?” Mrs Atkinson said.
Mrs Robertson said the existing service was cumbersome and unsuitable for the aged community and subsidies were available only to some.
“For most of us who want public transport there is a stop on Hayman Road, but at the moment to get to Cannington it takes you to Cannington train station, then from there you have to catch another bus to Bentley Hospital and the times are ridiculous,” she said.
“A lot of people have appointments up until four o’clock, and while there is a train at Oats Street station, it really is a rough area and a long walk, making it nearly impossible. It would be so easy to divert it off Albany Highway, down Mills Road, turn around and keep going.”
Mr Wyatt said the PTA response was disrespectful to the pensioners who were vulnerable.
“They are not considering the vulnerabilities of the people asking for this service, dare I say they haven’t even gone to the effort,” he said.
“There response showed there was no research into (potential) increased patronage … Many of these people can’t drive anymore, that is a disrespectful response.”
Public Transport Minister Dean Nalder did not respond to a request for comment.