Wednesday, 28 June 2017
SCHOOL students traveling on rural school buses across the region will soon be safer than ever thanks to a $29 million school bus seatbelt blitz in the recent NSW Budget, which will ensure all regional NSW school buses are fitted with seat belts four years ahead of schedule.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall welcomed the funding boost, which he said would see all 165 school buses in the electorate servicing rural school bus routes fitted with seat belts by December 2019, instead of the original 2023 target.
“This is a really important move that will help keep our children safe in school buses which operate on our region’s rural roads and highways,” Mr Marshall said.
“When it comes to school student transport, children’s safety is paramount and I know parents across the Northern Tableland will welcome this news today.
“As someone who championed this issue as a member of the original government committee that recommend this scheme to the Transport Minister, I’m delighted everyone’s hard work and lobbying has paid off.”
Mr Marshall was in Inverell yesterday to take a look at some new Inverell Bus Service buses fitted with seat belts and try them out with students from Holy Trinity School.
“They are very comfortable and the students certainty appreciate the importance of buckling up on every trip,” he said.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the installation of seat belts on the rural and regional bus fleet would be fast tracked to ensure the safety of regional public transport.
“We are fast tracking seat belts on regional school buses, making sure all regional students can travel on buses with seat belts by December 2019 – four years ahead of schedule,” Mr Constance said. “This is something our communities have been crying out for and I’m committed to making sure kids across the state can travel to school safely.”
All 2,800 rural and regional buses will have seat belts by December 2021 with the replacement of 415 buses and retrofitting 1,937 existing buses, on top of the 515 buses that have already been replaced.