Seniors asked for transport ideas

MOTORING organisation NRMA is mining the silvery heads of senior Coffs Coast residents for answers to the transport and mobility problems facing an ageing population.

NRMA members were invited to an ageing forum in Coffs Harbour on Thursday to examine these issues and about 150 people responded to the invitation, most of them seniors.

The gathering was the first of seven being held in regional areas across NSW to follow NRMA’s 2010 Transport and Mobility Needs of Ageing Australians Forum held in Sydney.

The Coffs Harbour event was followed by the NRMA’s first electric vehicle road show in Port Macquarie.

NRMA President Wendy Machin, who chaired the local forum, made no apologies for restricting the forum to NRMA members, saying the organisation was a club which aimed to provide benefits for its members and add value to their membership and many of their members were in the age group concerned.

Ms Machin said according to NSW Planning projections, the population of people aged over 85 in Coffs Harbour was projected to increase by more than 500 per cent over the next 25 years, while the number of residents over 70 was projected to double.

Matters canvassed at the forum were rail services; passenger-side mirrors on vehicles which made it impossible for drivers to gauge the distance to other vehicles; nose-in parking; the poor condition of the Orara Way road surface and the use of the route by semi-trailers; refusal of buses to drive into towns like Valla Beach; positioning of bus stops and the provision of pram parking – wider bays for people with prams and seniors; roundabout driver behaviour and vegetation

A paper on the Needs of Ageing Australians Forum can be downloaded at

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