A COUNCIL candidate in the upcoming Port Macquarie Hastings Council local government election is advocating for a bus service to include Beechwood.
Jeff Styles wants council and Busways to work collaboratively to see the current bus route network expanded to include the Beechwood area.
Mr Styles says there are a number of reasons for including Beechwood in the region's bus network.
"Beechwood is a small but growing community and it is within close proximity to a major population centre in Wauchope, being approximately 5 kilometres away - it seems logical to me that the bus network reaches out to Beechwood," he said.
Mr Styles has compared a proposed Beechwood bus route to the existing Kendall bus service.
"You could draw comparisons between the bus route that exists between Laurieton and Kendall and the proposed bus route between Wauchope and Beechwood.
"In both cases you have a village within close proximity to a major population centre - the smaller villages are small but growing.
"With a bus route existing between Laurieton and Kendall we must ask why a comparable route doesn't exist between Wauchope and Beechwood, particularly when in fact Beechwood is closer to Wauchope than Kendall is to Laurieton."
The council candidate also drew attention to the potential benefits of an expanded bus service for the region's youth, particularly those who had no access to private transport.
Mr Styles said that transportation is important in linking the region's youth with positive activities and vital services.
"We need a community that facilitates positive lifestyles for our youth and part of that is providing the links between them and activities and services that will benefit them."
In addition to these points, Mr Styles highlighted that the only other transport option available to the public, taxis, results in too great a cost for people to be an ongoing option and that the Beechwood area has growing appeal as a tourist centre with its attractions and activities.
Mr Styles said that he will continue investigating the issue and speak with Busways and council to see what could be done to secure improved transport links for the Beechwood community.