Some commuters have backed a ban which means bus drivers will not pick up or drop off passengers at Manuka bus stops when cars are illegally parked in the bus zones.
Transport Workers’ Union ACT secretary Andrew Whale said bus drivers, who were concerned about passenger safety, endorsed the boycott and called on Police Minister Brendan Smyth to empower officers to impound offenders’ vehicles.
Bus stops outside the Manuka Post Office and Coles supermarket were subject to the ban.
Commuter Katy Radman was “cranky” with motorists who parked their cars in Manuka’s bus zones and believed diplomatic-car drivers were the worst offenders an observation backed by the TWU.
Ms Radman said yesterday the ACT Government should increase parking inspector patrols and police should tow away vehicles to fix the problem.
“It’s the worst I’ve seen in 20 years . . . it’s bad for Manuka,” Ms Radman said.
Passenger Razik Mustafa said the bans would inconvenience passengers but believed parking offenders should receive harsher penalties.
Ann-Marie Opferkuch, who has travelled on buses for five years, said motorists who parked in bus zones endangered others.
Mr Whale said passengers and pedestrians were placed in danger when drivers were forced to double park their buses in Manuka.
Under the ban, drivers would bypass the Manuka bus stops if motorists parked their cars in the zone and would opt to stop at the next safe area, usually another bus zone about 500m away.
“We greatly regret any inconvenience,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Mr Smyth said the department had increased its parking-inspector patrols, random checks and asked the Australian Federal Police to boost their after-hours presence in Manuka.
There were no plans to allow police to impound offenders’ vehicles.
Bus drivers boycott Manuka stops over illegal parking
BY DANIELLE CRONIN
11 May, 2001