Families in Glenmore Park whose children attend McCarthy Catholic College at Emu Plains have cause to celebrate this week. Their long fought battle to achieve a direct school bus service between Glenmore Park and McCarthy Catholic College took a major step forward to becoming a reality.
“I am pleased to inform Glenmore Park families that through consistent efforts from the community, and my lobbying and advocating Busways and the Minister for Transport, we are one step closer to securing this direct bus service,” said Tanya Davies MP, Member for Mulgoa.
As of Monday, school buses 4055, 4567, 4507 and bus routes 797 and 799 (in the morning) between Glenmore Park and McCarthy Catholic College will now ensure that McCarthy Catholic College students will not need to disembark the bus at Penrith Station en route to school but remain on the same bus, while still allowing commuters to disembark and school students to board the bus for school.
Glenmore Park resident Kyli Trimboli has been a strong and enduring campaigner for this direct bus service and is credited for raising the issue with Tanya Davies when she was elected in 2011.
“I am so happy that we are finally heading in the right direction here. We have about 200 families in Glenmore Park affected by this problem and it’s just ridiculous that our children should have to spend almost three hours a day just to get to Emu Plains from Glenmore Park, and return in the afternoon,” Ms Trimboli said.
Until now, students living in Glenmore Park who attend McCarthy Catholic College were required to disembark at Penrith station and board a second bus service to complete their journey, causing overcrowding, discomfort and often delays for students arriving at school or home. This led to many parents refraining from using the bus service altogether, adding to traffic congestion in and out of Glenmore Park during school pick up and drop off times.
In March 2012, Tanya Davies surveyed Glenmore Park parents whose children attend McCarthy Catholic College. A resounding 148 families responded to the survey indicating that they would make use of a direct bus route service, if the State Government were to provide it.
McCarthy Catholic College Principal Robyn Meddows and Deputy Principal Glen Trefoni have been strong proponents of this change to the bus service from Glenmore Park as well. The changeover of bus services at Penrith station has led them to commit to additional staff being on site at Penrith station to supervise and help ensure there is a minimum of disruption for students attending their school.
“We are so relieved that we don’t have to commit our limited staff resources to supervise this activity any longer and we can now reassign them to much needed duties on the school grounds,” Mrs Meddows said.
Strong support for improvements to the bus service was also provided by Stuart Ayres, Member for Penrith; whose state electorate includes Emu Plains where McCarthy Catholic College is located.
Meanwhile, Tanya Davies will continue to lobby the Minister for Transport for a dedicated school bus service that journeys direct from Glenmore Park to McCarthy Catholic College and return.