East Surrey has been “left out again,” says Scott Wheatley.
Wheatley, the executive director of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce was beside himself after Translink issued a press release Nov. 16 announcing three new rapid-transit bus routes for the Lower Mainland, but nothing for Cloverdale.
“East Surrey got (shortchanged) again by Translink” said Wheatley. “They made their big announcement last week about the new Bus Rapid Transit and they’ve totally ignored East Surrey and we’ve been left out again.”
Surrey was given one of three routes announced for Metro Vancouver by the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation. Surrey’s will run along King George Boulevard from Whalley to White Rock.
The other two corridors are Langley Centre to Haney Place, and Metrotown to the North Shore. Specific alignment, designs, costs and timelines have not yet been determined for the three but work on these is expected to begin immediately, with public consultation.
Wheatley is incensed that Cloverdale, Clayton, and Campbell Heights have been ignored, despite years and years of continuous, and growing, demand.
“We need buses to go from north to south in East Surrey, not just Whalley to White Rock,” Wheatley explained. “The 30,000 people that work in Campbell Heights have just been snubbed again.”
Wheatley said despite record growth in the area from Clayton on down to Campbell Heights, for both residences and businesses, Translink is continuing to disregard East Surrey’s tax-paying residents and workers.
“They are ignoring a major transportation route south along Highway 15 and workers still only have a single bus from Langley or White Rock to get to their jobs in Campbell Heights,” Wheatley added. “The bus announcement continues the isolation of Clayton, Cloverdale, and Campbell Heights.”
Wheatley said he’s heard from Translink in the past and they add new routes based on “ridership potential,” something Wheatley said he doesn’t feel they are considering with this latest Cloverdale “snub.”
“One would consider Skytrian to Clayton and a new major hospital in Cloverdale to be sufficient to be considered for new bus routes in East Surrey.”
Wheatley said his ideal change would include a Bus Rapid Transit route down 176th, swinging east on Hwy 1o and then down 184th to Campbell Heights. (See red lines in image above). He said the rapid bus could eventually connect with Skytrain stations (blues X’s). He also wants to see another rapid bus route added in Clayton. That bus, ideally would whip straight south on 184th Street into Campbell Heights.
“They know about the need,” Wheatley said. “They all keep saying, ‘We need more money,’ but nothing happens.
“Don’t get me wrong, the three new routes are great, but it would be greater if one was coming down 176th Street.”
— with a file from Tom Zytaruk.