Letter | Waiting school students need better protection

GIMME SHELTER: The old Kelso High Campus bus shelter before work began on an upgrade of the bus interchange in the 2016/17 summer holidays.
GIMME SHELTER: The old Kelso High Campus bus shelter before work began on an upgrade of the bus interchange in the 2016/17 summer holidays.

THE lack of shelter at the Kelso Bus Exchange makes Kelso High Campus the laughing stock of the many thousands of students from across all schools who use the exchange each and every day.

As a Year 11 student of Kelso High, I've seen how harsh the natural elements can be on the students who are waiting for their afternoon bus to arrive.

Our bus bay serves all schools across Bathurst, and you'd imagine we would have a shelter to accommodate such importance. Well, we don't. Sort of.

We do technically have a shelter. Two, in fact - two very small ones that look as if they belong in a display at Cockington Green.

Anyone who has driven past will understand.

They are both visually and physically small. At maximum capacity, maybe 15 reasonably thin kids could fit.

On Monday, March 5, 2018, Bathurst experienced a huge deluge of rain, unleashing havoc on my fellow peers.

For a lot of kids, some buses don't come around until 4.30pm, and waiting one hour in an intense downpour proved too much. 

I was a lucky one; my bus arrived right on 4pm. Thirty minutes standing in the rain managed to completely destroy my Year 11 school notes and partially damage my laptop. And my bag was waterproof! 

Some kids whose bags weren't waterproof went home with not just destroyed books and technology, but also completely destroyed bags. 

It wasn't always like this, though.

In the 2016/2017 summer holidays, the original (much bigger) bus shelter was demolished to make way for an improved bus exchange. Complementing the upgrade were two new smaller shelters mentioned earlier.

It was the result of years of pushing and negotiation by our school to receive funding for these essential safety upgrades.

And as a student, I thoroughly commend our school, council and Roads and Maritime Services for adopting these changes, as the bus exchange is much safer for (especially) young school children. 

But after experiencing the scorching summer's heat and Monday’s downpour, students, parents and myself are furious and demand why greater action hasn't been taken by all parties to address the problem.

Our school pushed for the upgrades, surely they can push for a new, much larger shelter.

Zac Belmonte, current Year 11 student