One Spallumcheen resident wants a transit route reinstated.
And she has the backing of township council.
Sharon Bennett wrote Spallumcheen council requesting help in reinstating a B.C. Transit stop at the Eagle Rock mobile home park on what was then Highway 97A, now called Hutley Road. Bennett said the route was lost two years ago because of the highway expansion project.
“Many of the residential units are considered low income,” wrote Bennett. “Out of the 250 residents, about 30 of us needed the service on a regular basis.”
Bennett said the nearest stop for residents in the area – there are three trailer parks, including Eagle Rock, nearby – involves crossing the highway to the Spallumcheen industrial park on Pleasant Valley Road four kilometres away.
Bennett said she spoke to Vernon Transit and the Township of Spallumcheen.
“They said that adding the extra stop would be a major timing inconvenience to the transit system,” said Bennett.
“It’s an inconvenience for us as there are many disabled people in our trailer park that can’t walk four kilometres to catch the bus. Without a car, it’s impossible for us to buy food or go to medical appointments.”
Coun. Christine Fraser didn’t buy that the stop was an inconvenience.
“I drove down, took the roundabout, went down, sat there for two minutes, went back onto the highway and kept on going. It takes less than 10 minutes,” said Fraser.
“To me, less than 10 minutes to make a stop at one location is not that inconvenient.”
“It’s not unrealistic to stop in the highest need centre in our community,” added Coun. Todd York. “If they have to do it on the half-hour or hour, it’s probably tolerable rather than having those people trying to cross the highway.”
Fraser called for a stop to be installed along Hutley Road near the trailer parks or wherever the easiest spot would be for a transit bus to turn around.
There is no access road to Highway 97A northbound off Hutley Road. A bus would have to turn on the road and head back to a roundabout in order to get back on the highway.
Council voted unanimously to send a letter to the Regional District of North Okanagan, asking that the transit stop be reinstated.