A HARD-fought battle to secure a bus route from aged facilities in Bentley to Bentley Hospital has been won by the lobbyists at Juniper Rowethorpe.
From March 7, bus route 201 will run five trips a day to Bentley Hospital from Cannington Station via Bentley Health Service, Bentley Plaza Shopping Centre, Juniper Rowethorpe Homes and Swan Care Bentley Park before terminating at Curtin University Bus Station.
Residents Julie Atkinson and Judith Robertson began a campaign to get a bus route last year, submitting a petition of 163 signatures to the WA Parliament, and meeting with politicians and people from the Public Transport Authority. Each time, they were told a route would not be established for the seniors.
The pair said 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 route, commissioned for three months, will trial its viability.
Ms Atkinson welcomed the announcement and urged residents from Juniper and neighbouring SwanCare to make the most of the hard-won service.
“It feels like magic to finally say we have a bus service. I am absolutely gobsmacked that after so long we got a trial,” she said.
The route will run from Cannington Station via Bentley Health Service, Bentley Plaza Shopping Centre, Juniper Rowethorpe Homes and Swan Care Bentley Park before terminating at Curtin University Bus Station.
It will run five trips in each direction on weekdays, on a three-month trial. Whether the service continues or not will how consistently it is used.
Ms Atkinson urged the community to take advantage of the trial to ensure the service remained available to them.
“We fought and fought for this so please, to everyone, use it,” she said.
“It won’t be long and drawn out like it once was, it will go straight to the hospital benefitting the whole elderly community… for non-drivers it will be a pleasure.”
South Metropolitan MLC Simon O’Brien, who helped secure the route change, said he was thrilled to see results.
“I was pleased to be of assistance to the residents who will benefit from the new route which will provide direct access to Bentley Plaza and Bentley Hospital,” Mr O’Brien.
Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt, a long-term campaigner for the route, also encouraged people to use it.
“Residents have been campaigning for this bus service for a long time, so I am delighted that the Government has reversed its decision, and agreed to trial extending the 201 Bus Service…I will watch the trial period with interest, making particular note of whether or not the trial period extends beyond the upcoming state election,” he said.
A spokesman from Juniper also urged residents to capitalise on the trial.
“Transport choices and connectivity are vital to support independence and wellbeing among older people…We encourage people to use the service so it can be maintained well into the future,” he said.