SOME newly-located bus information panels in the region are endangering cyclists and pedestrians, says an Illawarra cycling group.
Transport for NSW has installed hundreds of bus timetable panels, called plinths, at bus stops across the Illawarra. Most do not yet contain any timetable information.
Illawarra Bicycle Users Group (iBUG) chairman Werner Steyer said a number of the plinths around Shellharbour and Wollongong were an obstruction because they had been installed on shared paths for cyclists and pedestrians.
‘‘It’s easy for them to locate them somewhere where it’s not going to interfere with the flow of traffic,’’ Mr Steyer said.
He identified four plinths at bus stops in the Shellharbour area that obstructed paths; two on Shellharbour Road, Warilla, one on Lake Entrance Road, Warilla and one on the Princes Highway at Albion Park Rail
Mr Steyer also identified another three in Wollongong.
Transport for NSW said it had already moved two of the problematic plinths in Wollongong.
Under the Australian Standards, signs near kerbed roads in urban areas had to be at least 600millimetres back from the face of the kerb.
However, Mr Steyer said according to the Australian Bicycle Council’s Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides 2011, the guidelines suggested a clearance of at least one metre between the edge of a path and an obstacle.
He said the government should not be building new infrastructure that contradicted the guidelines and obstructed pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooter riders.
‘‘All of our shared path network is being more heavily used,’’ he said.
‘‘You have to worry about people stepping out at the bus stop to read the timetable ... every obstruction we put there is another potential accident.
‘‘We certainly should not be putting in new ones that then need to be moved – that costs you and me money, as ratepayers, to remove them.’’
A Transport for NSW spokesman said the plinth sites were identified by a joint site–inspection group involving Wollongong City Council, bus operators and Transport for NSW.
If a plinth was found to obstruct a cycleway, it is relocated.
A spokeswoman for Shellharbour City Council said council staff were notified which bus stops the plinths would be put at and told they would be placed appropriately.
Concerned residents should call Asset Projects, Transport for NSW on 82022821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. gov.au