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DELIVERING COMMUNITY NEWS ACROSS CANBERRA AND QUEANBEYAN
Volume 16 No. 41
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2011
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Commuters fear for safety
Belconnen Community Council's Brian Rynehart and president Shirley Gourgaud are concerned about the safety of Belconnen Interchange.
Picture: Elesa Lee
CONCERNS have been raised about
the safety and access of bus in-
terchanges in Belconnen.
Belconnen Community Council
president Shirley Gourgaud said re-
sidents have raised concerns to her
about feeling unsafe at the Community
Bus Interchange between Benjamin
Way and Chandler Street.
Ms Gourgaud said commuters felt
isolated and unsafe at night due to the
lack of passive surveillance.
"Before the intensive residential
development goes ahead in the town
centre, there are not sufficient passers-
by to make that community inter-
change non-isolated after hours," she
"If they're sitting there by them-
selves in a huge complex in the open
and its dark they are isolated."
When the unit block next to the
Community Bus Interchange is built in
the coming years Ms Gourgaud
believes the fact that there will be more
residents around will fix the issue.
"However at the current moment in
time it is [bad], because if you look at
the shelters they are inadequate," she
As well as being secluded at night,
she said they provided little protection
from the elements.
Ms Gourgaud would like to see the
Westfield Bus Interchange made more
accessible for residents who felt unsafe
at the Community Bus Interchange.
Currently she believes for people
utilising facilities in Emu Bank, it is
hard to access the Westfield Bus
Interchange, located on the corner of
Lathlain Street and Cohen Street, after
"You have to walk three-quarters of
the way around Westfield, because you
cannot go the direct route through
Westfield to it," she said. "Westfield
will not give us access to the Westfield
Bus Interchange after hours."
Brian Rynehart, also of the Belcon-
nen Community Council, agreed that
the interchange was hard to access
"On an ordinary weekday they start
putting the barricades up at 6.10pm,"
Ms Gourgaud argued that because
Westfield gained such commercial and
financial advantage of having an
interchange at its door, it should give
back to the community by keeping car
parks open after hours for pedestrians
to use as a shortcut to the interchange.
"Westfield has had a huge advan-
tage in where the interchange was
placed, but they won't allow anyone to
go through the car parks," she said.
"They're giving nothing back to the
community with respect to access to
this interchange after hours."
There are a flight of stairs from
Benjamin Way people can access to
get to the second level and then to the
interchange. But those who can't use
stairs have to walk around the bottom
of the centre and then up Lathlain
Street to the interchange.
Westfield Belconnen corporate af-
fairs manager Julia Clarke said access
to the bus interchange was changed
"[Westfield Bus Interchange] can
still be accessed quite easily, without
requiring people to go around Emu
Bank and Lathlain Street, via the
carpark outside the fresh food pre-
cinct," she said.
However, there is no after-hours
access off Benjamin Way, Cohen
Street and part of Emu Bank Drive.
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