School bus driver disgusted with state of roads
SCHOOL bus driver Maryann Molloy is disgusted with the condition of the Livingstone Shire roads she drives every weekday.
She is not alone.
Mrs Molloy picks up at least 39 students each morning on the rural run, known as the Cobraball/Hidden Valley school run, and conveys them to different schools in Yeppoon.
She says the condition of the unsealed roads she traverses has got that bad, it has added 30 minutes to her route each morning.
Times that by two, because she does the same trip in the afternoons.
“In many places, I can’t go over 25kmh because of the state the roads are in,” Mrs Molloy said.
“In some parts you could walk faster than I can drive over them.”
But her concerns essentially have nothing to do with time and schedules.
Her priority is the safety of the school children.
“I’ve got 40 kids on here (bus),” she said.
“If something goes wrong, I don’t want to be on the end of that.
“Getting all of the kids to school safely is my job.”
Mrs Molloy said some parents were so concerned about some sections of road, they had carried out “patch-up jobs” themselves due to a lack of action from the council.
Coincidently, when The Morning Bulletin caught up with Mrs Molloy on one of the problem roads this week, two men who had carried out patch-ups drove by, stopped and confirmed her story.
Mrs Molloy said she had heard reasons come out of Livingstone headquarters for the poor condition the roads were in, including that they sustained damage from the high number of fire trucks that drove over them during the Cobraball bushfires last November.
But she is not buying that reasoning.
“They were bad before the fires and still nothing was done to fix them,” she said.
Mrs Molloy, who has done the Cobraball/Hidden Valley school run for two-and-a-half years and been with the bus company 25 years, said three roads in particular needed urgent repair work done - Newby Rd, Cottons Rd and Pine Mountain Drive.
She raised the matter with Cr Glenda Mather who has since raised it on several occasions at council meetings, saying that more needed to be done to fix the shire’s rural roads.
A council infrastructure spokesperson said the normal scheduling of road maintenance was made very difficult during the second half of last year.
“The combination of the prolonged drought conditions made effective maintenance grading challenging,” the spokesperson said.
“As well, the impact of the major fire event in November required some crews and resources to be directed to fire recovery related tasks.
“Following the Christmas break, works scheduled on the specific roads in question were further delayed by up to six weeks due to significant periods of wet weather.”
The spokesperson said crews had been progressively working through Cobraball, Bondoola and Pine Mountain areas and it was anticipated that all remaining roads in that area including Newby and Cottons roads would be completed over the next few days.
“Council certainly apologises for any concerns or inconvenience that these unintentional and unforeseen delays may have caused,” the spokesperson said.