Bus shelter safety concerns

Neighbourhood Watch Latrobe Valley's Gerard Traynor and Cindy Shanahan are concerned about the state of a bus shelter on Vary Street, Morwell. photograph hayley mills

Neighbourhood Watch Latrobe Valley's Gerard Traynor and Cindy Shanahan are concerned about the state of a bus shelter on Vary Street, Morwell. photograph hayley mills

A corroded bus shelter on Vary Street in Morwell could pose a safety risk to nearby residents, a Neighbourhood Watch volunteer has claimed.

The shelter is located near aged care facility Mitchell House and is defaced with graffiti tags, broken glass, corroded metal and dents to the corrugated iron walls.

A recent safety audit of bus shelters by Neighbourhood Watch in Latrobe City revealed the dilapidated shelter on Vary Street was the worst in the 3840 postcode.

Volunteers are now concerned the bus shelter could be removed and not replaced after other bus shelters in the municipality were removed recently due to their poor state.

Neighbourhood Watch Latrobe Valley volunteer Gerard Traynor said the condition of the shelter could be making elderly residents feel unsafe and called on Latrobe City to "act in the best interests" of its residents.

"It's the psychology of making our community a cleaner and safer looking place to make sure residents in Latrobe City feel more safe where they live," Mr Traynor said.

"It's severely corroded and it looks unsafe and because it's in a neighbourhood of predominately seniors, there could be a feeling of being unsafe."

Mr Traynor said the shelter on Vary Street "was of greatest concern" and required urgent attention to prevent injury to passers by.

"The fact that the window is broken and it's encroaching on the footpath, people can walk into it at night," he said.

"Other bus shelters we highlighted have been removed and not replaced but in this case we feel the shelter must remain. We do not want to see the bus shelter disappear due to the age and vulnerability of the nearby residents."

"An audit could be done across the Latrobe Valley to assess the size of maintenance requirements of these bus shelters and it could be a window of opportunity for local business to successfully tender for the replacement of these shelters."

Neighbourhood Watch Latrobe Valley president Cindy Shanahan said a person could be injured if the shelter was left in its current state. She called for a replacement or for the current structure to be repaired.

"It's not a nice site – it's all rusted out and people are scared to sit in it. It's basically falling apart and it shouldn't be there."

Latrobe City Council Steve Piasente general manager infrastructure and recreation said bus shelters were the responsibility of Public Transport Victoria but conceded council would address the community's concerns.

"Following this query we inspected this shelter and will take action to make it safe for community use as soon as possible," Mr Piasente said in a statement.

He said Public Transport Victoria was currently undertaking a program to replace 21 bus shelters in the municipality before the end of the year.

"This particular shelter was not originally included but Latrobe City is now working with PTV to have it included with a view to potentially replacing it with a used shelter in better condition," Mr Piasente said.

"Latrobe City Council has historically undertaken maintenance on bus shelters on an informal basis; this included replacing glass on this particular shelter in 2008."

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