Cessnock City Council will push for the school bus stop on Sawyers Gully Road at Weston to be relocated by the beginning of the next school term.
A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Sawyers Gully Road and Hart Road just after 3pm Wednesday prompted councillor Anthony Burke to raise the issue as a motion of urgency at last night’s meeting.
It was at least the fourth crash to occur at the intersection this year.
Two cars involved in Wednesday’s crash ended up off the road and down the ditch, close to the bus stop where a number of school children catch the bus each morning.
Cr Burke moved that the general manager speak to Rover Coaches about having the bus stop relocated – possibly during the upcoming school holidays.
While Rover Coaches is responsible for the placement of school bus stops, the company would require approval from Transport for NSW to move it.
Cr Burke said Wednesday’s accident brought the situation to “another level”.
“It was in a location where schoolkids wait for the bus,” he said.
“The school term finishes this week, so we’ve got two weeks to get something done.”
Traffic has increased dramatically at the intersection since the Hunter Expressway opened in March 2014.
The NSW Government last year allocated $4 million towards improvements on roads that feed into the expressway, and council has been – and will continue to – work with Roads and Maritime Services in an effort to improve safety and traffic flow on those roads.
Council resolved in May this year to investigate interim solutions to improve safety at the accident-prone intersection, after three accidents over a nine-day period in April.
The appropriateness of the bus stop’s location is among the factors being investigated.
“I appreciate that work is being done already, but it needs to be expedited,” Cr Burke said.
“It’s about the safety of kids.”
Speaking to Fairfax Media in May, local mum Leanne Martin said she – and many other parents – would like to see the bus stop moved to Gingers Lane, away from the dangerous intersection, and so the children don’t have to cross Sawyers Gully Road to get to the bus stop.