Border traffic forces Tweed kids to walk to school
A SCHOOL principal has been forced to walk his students to class as traffic queues caused by drivers trying to cross the Queensland border is gridlocking buses.
Tweed Heads Public School is on the troublesome NSW-Queensland border and has become barricaded by traffic during school pick-up times.
NSW students return to class tomorrow, about a week after the Queensland Government announced tighter restrictions to weed out residents of NSW hot spots and Victoria entering the state. It has been causing hours-long delays to cross the border.
Principal Peter Nichols said he would assess the traffic on Monday but it was likely he would continue staggering finish times to avoid "virtual gridlock" during school pick up.
"I have to cross the border myself so I'll wait and see what it looks like at ground level, but it will be very likely we will continue staggering pick up times, " Mr Nichols said.
"Until we did that it was virtual gridlock, and it was affecting our buses.
"We have one bus drop students at St Joseph's Primary School (550m south), and I've been walking a large number of kids to school.
"It's the biggest disruption we've had with two border checkpoints and a constructions site very close to the school … you couldn't place us in a trickier spot."
A Tweed Heads Public School Year 6 student's mother said there were some days her 12-year-old boy didn't want to go anymore because of the long bus journey home.
The parent said the school buses were getting stuck in border traffic, adding at times 30 minutes to the trip.
"By the end of term 2 the traffic was horrendous," she said. "If a child was catching a school bus home, they had to wait till 3.05pm for a bus to collect them all and drive them to St Joseph's Primary School - two blocks away - so they could transfer onto their correct bus routes.
"With all these disruptions, especially for the younger children in Kindergarten to Year 2, this so much for them to deal with."
Another parent had to enrol her children into after school care, leaving her $100 a week out-of-pocket.
"I've had to enrol my children into after school care at a cost of $100 per week just to get them picked up safely and Moved to West Tweed where I collect them," she said.
Originally published as Border traffic forces Tweed kids to walk to school