Shelter stalemate over for Nollamara bus stop

Ben Maguire enjoys the new bus shelter on Karrabil Way.Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d446736
Ben Maguire enjoys the new bus shelter on Karrabil Way.Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d446736

AFTER more than a decade of fighting for a shelter at a bus stop on Karrabil Way in Nollamara, Bon Maguire celebrated his win with a glass of champagne.

Mr Maguire said it had been a “comedy of errors” trying to get the City of Stirling, the Public Transport Authority (PTA) and the WA Local Government Association to install the shelter over the past 12 years, which was finally installed in October.

“God knows how many people contacted me and said this site was not suitable for a shelter because it encroached some of the footpath,” he said.

“Initially, half the people that I was talking to at City of Stirling didn’t want to know about it. I was referred to WALGA and many others – there were about 15 people over the 12 years.”

Mr Maguire said he waited at the bus stop every day in winter and summer over 12 years.

“In summer time, I’d sit here during heatwaves waiting for a bus totally exposed and in winter I would get soaking wet,” he said.

After a seven-year stalemate over responsibility for installation and maintenance of bus shelters, WALGA and the PTA finally came to formalised a partnership agreement with local government in August.

It was agreed the PTA would undertake all the works to install bus shelters on the basis that local government contributed 50 per cent to the cost and accepted ongoing maintenance responsibility.

City of Stirling engineering design manager Paul Giamov said the City first heard from Mr Maguire in 2004.

“The City received a strong objection from the property owners. City of Stirling officers recognised in 2007 that any works to a bus stop immediately triggered the need to make that bus stop compliant with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA),” Mr Giamov said.

Mr Giamov said the City resolved in 2008 not to install any new shelters until a formal agreement was made with the PTA.

PTA communications manager David Hynes said the City of Stirling had vetoed participation in the Bus Shelter Subsidy Program in 2008 despite benefits to ratepayers.

“Stirling did not amend this position until August this year after the Bus Stop Infrastructure Partnership Agreement between the WALGA and the PTA was finalised,” Mr Hynes said.

WALGA president Lynne Craigie said the issue had been “problematic” for many local governments but the recent formal agreement would define responsibilities.