Axed bus route leaves long walk
Maylands MLA Lisa Baker with Shirley Dean, Rosemary Merry, Marie Quinn, Norma Jamieson and Noel Collins. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

Embleton residents say they feel isolated and ignored after the axing of a convenient bus service into the city.

The number 21 bus was stopped last month with the introduction of Perth's most frequent bus service, the 950, which takes passengers from Morley to the city and then to the University of WA.

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But the new route does not run through the streets of Embleton, forcing locals to walk up to 500m to the Morley bus station.

"It's like we're being discouraged from leaving our homes," Rosemary Merry, 81, said. "I need to get to the city - I do some volunteer work for Legacy. To catch the bus, I must walk to the Morley station. I take a portable chair in case I get tired."

Tony Santoro, who has lost most of his sight and walks with a cane, said the axing of the number 21 was like cutting his legs off.

"We moved to this area because of its access to vital services," he said. "But taking the 21 away has removed my independence.

"I now have to rely on my wife to drop me off so I can get to East Victoria Park, where I do volunteer work once a week. At the very least, authorities should modify the route of the 950."

Grandmother Shirley Dean said the changes made it difficult for locals who did not have a car.

"Walking further or catching extra buses - it makes using public transport difficult," she said.

Maylands MP Lisa Baker said the decision to close route 21 had been done with minimal consultation and without foresight.

A Transperth spokeswoman said route 21 had been dropped after a review of patronage data.

"Our data showed . . . an average of one passenger boarding per trip north of Russell Street," she said.

Kent Acott

The West Australian

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