Prospect man seeks help on petition for bus's bike rack

A retired trolleybus operator campaigning for NSW buses to have bicycle racks like those used in Canberra has so far collected more than 200 signatures for his petition.

John Harrington, 74, is supported by Cyclists Action Movement West treasurer Rob Kemp, started a petition drive in Blacktown about two weeks, calling on the government to introduce them.

The Prospect resident can be seen collecting signatures on most days at the busy Blacktown bus-rail interchange.

Mr Harrington now wants those who support him to help by photocopying his petition form to collect more signatures.

‘‘They should send their signed petitions to their local state MPs to lobby the government for  bus company to install the rack,’’ he said.

‘‘The introduction of a rack on the front of buses would also increase floor space for prams, shopping trollies, wheelchairs and luggage inside the bus.

Mr Harrington said people like him would be able to cycle more if NSW buses had bike racks.

‘‘I could avoid cycling in unsafe roads by taking my bike in a bus to suitable place and vice versa.

‘‘Kids could also stop a bus with a rack if they have a puncture instead of pushing it home.’’

Mr Kemp recently said Mr Harrington’s proposal would help to promote safe cycling.

He said cycling enthusiasts could take a bus to their favourite area without competing with cars, trucks and motorcycles on busy roads.

But Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said she was advised that buses with an exterior bike rack may exceed their maximum permitted length and pose safety risks for customers.

Bren Burkevics, chief operating officer of Canberra ACTION bus, said 100 per cent of his buses that could legally or physically carry a bike rack were now fitted with one.

‘‘ This represents 81 per cent of the entire bus fleet (or 330 buses),’’ he said.

Those supporting Mr Harrington can call or fax him on 96317691.