Vicki Dunne has demanded the ACT government restore Belconnen bus services in the interests of elderly residents.
The Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly and the Liberal member for Ginninderra tabled a petition on Monday calling for ACTION bus services and covered stops to be restored on Burkitt Street in Page.
Residents of nearby retirement villages relied on these discontinued services, according to Dunne.
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“The removal of the bus routes and shelters along Burkitt Street undermines lifestyle, independence, well-being, self-esteem and flexibility for our ageing residents,” she said.
“There are three retirement villages along Burkitt Street. Between them they accommodate about 300 self-care residents, many of whom rely on transport services to attend to their day-to-day activities. These services are also important for residents’ social inclusion in the community.
“The government has told residents that they can catch the so-called flexible bus service.
“However, often it’s not practical because passengers need to book two days in advance.
“The government also says they can catch the community buses offered by their retirement villages, but they are generally for group outings, not for individuals to go shopping or to a medical appointment or to visit friends. Other community transport options are expensive, which only contributes to the isolation many older people endure.
“On top of the services, the government has removed the covered shelters along the street, often used by local seniors as rest points when they go for a walk. The government has called these changes ‘improvements’.
“If these are ‘improvements’ I would not like to see their definition of ‘deterioration’.”