Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) latest round of urban bus stop upgrades has won the praise of residents from the city’s Willow Glen Retirement Village.

Willow Glen Retirement Village Residents’ committee secretary Christine Jenkins and fellow resident Corinne Bartlett this week thanked Toowoomba Region Councillors and the Department of Transport and Main Roads on behalf of Village residents for the upgrades at the Carey Street bus stop.

Corinne Bartlett first raised the idea of installing a seat at the bus stop with Councillors when she stopped driving around her 90th birthday.

She said the bus service offered Willow Glen Retirement Village residents independence and was also used by patrons at the caravan park.

“If you don’t drive, this is a convenient way to travel to the city. I used it twice last week and often head to the pictures in town,” Corinne said.

TRC Infrastructure Services portfolio leader and Regional Active and Public Transport Advisory Committee chair Cr Melissa Taylor said Council was installing 12 shelters at city bus stops, including the recently completed Willow Glen Retirement Village shelter, in addition to undertaking bus stop upgrades in conjunction with the state government to comply with disability provisions.

Cr Taylor said Willow Glen Retirement Village residents were most appreciative of the new bus shelter at the Carey Street bus stop.

“Council was pleased to use funds from the state government’s 2020-21 Bus Stop Shelter Program (BSSP) to construct a shelter at the Village’s south Ruthven Street stop to improve the comfort and safety of the senior residents who frequently use the stop,” Cr Taylor said.

“Our urban bus stop upgrades are funded under the Passenger Transport Accessible Infrastructure Program (PTAIP), an annual $5 million program of state government funding assistance to local governments towards upgrading existing public transport facilities to meet modern accessibility standards. Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) have provided joint funding to upgrade 10 bus stops across Toowoomba in 2020-21.

“Importantly, Council is on track to meet 100% disability standard compliance for all of its urban and long-distance bus stops by the end of 2022.

“Council will be upgrading three long-distance coach stops next financial year at Oakey, Jondaryan and Millmerran, also funded through PTAIP.

“Council has made a submission to TMR for the 2021-22 PTAIP and BSSP funding round for further shelter and stop upgrades, which are currently being assessed.”

Caption: Willow Glen Retirement Village residents’ committee secretary Christine Jenkins (third from left) and fellow resident Corinne Bartlett at the upgraded Carey Street bus stop with TRC Infrastructure Services Committee chair Cr Carol Taylor (second from left), TRC Infrastructure Services portfolio leader and Regional Active and Public Transport Advisory Committee chair Cr Melissa Taylor and TMR Passenger Transport Operations manager Downs South West TRANSLink Division Michael Timmer.