Buses make comeback

NEARLY three months of frustration with the FlexLink taxi service could be over for Ipswich commuters, with the service facing the axe by the end of the month.

New Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has cut short what was going to be a 12-month trial into a three-month trial after the service copped constant commuter criticism.

The trial will now end on March 13 and for two weeks from that date, Ipswich residents can give their feedback on the service.

Ms Palaszczuk said if that feedback was overwhelmingly negative, the service could be axed and the buses from former routes 505, 510 and 523 would go back on the streets.

“If the community says they don’t want it, buses will be put back on,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “I will make a decision by March 31.”

Residents are being urged to contact their state MPs after March 13 to give their feedback.

Ms Palaszczuk was asked to end the trial this week by Ipswich MP Rachel Nolan, who as Transport Minister introduced the service to replace the three bus routes late last year.

Ms Nolan said she was unhappy that TransLink and Yellow Cabs had not delivered on what was initially promised when the system was introduced.

Ms Palaszczuk said Ms Nolan showed initiative in looking at some “creative options” for public transport issues, but said they weren’t going to satisfy everyone all of the time.

Some of the campaigners against the scrapping of the three bus routes said FlexiLink should never have been introduced in the first place, but yesterday’s development was a step in the right direction.

Michelle Radunz, who with husband Ray Radunz has been a vocal critic of the service, said affected commuters should make sure they get their feedback in.

“It’s too important to leave it to the next person, just thinking that someone else will do it – everyone affected should give feedback,” Mrs Radunz said.

Fellow campaigners Louise Fullarton and Patricia Petersen said they won’t stop the fight against FlexiLink until it is definitely scrapped. Ms Palaszczuk said residents in Karalee, who had not had a bus service, but were included in FlexiLink zones, had the option of keeping the taxi system.

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