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Emerald bus shelter

Published: 7 July 2016

Council owns and maintains the bus shelter in Belgrave–Gembrook Road, Emerald.

While Council acknowledges that the Emerald Community House (ECH) has contributed to the appearance of this shelter over a number of years, no formal maintenance agreement exists for ECH to manage this community asset.

Each year, Council submits a list of shelters that have reached the end of their life to Public Transport Victoria (PTV). PTV then proceeds to install and maintain a standard glass shelter at the nominated locations at no cost to Council.

As part of this annual review, Council commissioned an independent structural engineer’s assessment of the bus shelter which recommended replacing the shelter because it was structurally unsound and posed a community safety risk.

In consultation with the Emerald Village Committee (EVC), a community group that represents the residents of Emerald, Council has agreed to replace the existing bus shelter with a heritage style shelter, in keeping with the character of Emerald village. As the proposed replacement shelter would be a non-standard shelter, it would be Council’s responsibility to install and maintain.

The shelter is one of seven that have been identified for replacement in the hills area over the coming months as part of this annual asset maintenance program, with funding sought from the Public Transport Victoria (PTV). The other six shelters will be replaced by Public Transport Victoria because they are standard glass shelters.

Council is aware that some people in Emerald are opposed to the removal of this shelter and are staging a protest at the site.

ECH has provided Council with a copy of a report prepared by a builder. This report states the shelter ‘is in sound condition’ and ‘requires maintenance’, but does not contain a structural assessment of the shelter.

As a result of the protest, Council has received a complaint from a member of the community who has been unable to use the shelter for its intended purpose.

Given the findings from the structural engineer, Council is concerned about the safety of people who are climbing on the shelter. Council communicated the engineer’s finding to the EVC as part of the consultation process.

Council does not have a scheduled date for removal of the bus shelter.