New stop deemed to be dangerous

Brown Hill shop owners have grave concerns over the location of a new bus stop on a busy stretch of Humffray Street North.

Danger: Brown Hill small business owners Dianne Slater (Brown Hill Fish and Chips), Jo Kennedy (Brown Hill Laundromat) and Renee McKenna (Topaz Hair Design).

Danger: Brown Hill small business owners Dianne Slater (Brown Hill Fish and Chips), Jo Kennedy (Brown Hill Laundromat) and Renee McKenna (Topaz Hair Design).

A new stop was earlier this week installed just metres away from a entrance/exit of a service station, and less than 100 metres away from a busy intersection between Humffray North and Water streets.

Brown Hill Laundromat owner Jo Kennedy said the stop will add another component to what is already a busy and tight stretch of road for both pedestrians and vehicles.

“My concerns are mainly the traffic implications, to start off with,” she said.

“It’s a very busy street at the best of times with a hairdressers, take away food, post office, garage and really bad intersections.

“I’d like to see it further down (Humffray Street). There’s vacant land down there. Why can’t it go down in front of a vacant piece of land?

The stop has been introduced as part of an upgrade to Ballarat’s overall network, set to be introduced from January 29.

While safety is of chief concern for Ms Kennedy and other business owners, the bus stop will also take two of five vital car customer parks.

The matter is complicated by a planned property development, which would see a driveway converted into a dual carriageway for an apartment black, resulting in another car park removed.

The matter is set to go before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

“We’re losing two car parks out the front which are really vital to three small businesses that are trying to survive on very little car parking at all,” Ms Kennedy said.

“(The service station entrance/exit) doesn’t help the situation at all and we’ve had no consultation with anybody from council about a bus stop that’s going to take our car parks.

“Definitely (it should be moved down the road), before somebody is killed here.

“There are people crossing the streets to get to the post office, there are people pulling in to get petrol, and you only have to watch the traffic that banks up when people are turning into the service station (to know it will be a hazard).”

However, it's understood Public Transport Victoria does not consider a spot further down the road viable.

"The bus stop on Humffray Street North was installed in response to strong support from the community for a bus to run along the street," a PTV spokesperson said.

"Together with local council and the relevant bus operator we considered a range of factors before installing the new bus stop, including the safety of all road users and pedestrians, and aiming to install bus stops every 400m."

The network upgrade will reduce the number of routes from 19 to 15.