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Tauranga residents call for national guidelines around safe travel following bus crash outside local school

Concerned residents in Tauranga are calling for national guidelines around safe travel on school routes.

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It comes after a bus crashed into a power pole bringing down live wires outside an intermediate. Source: 1 NEWS

It comes after a bus crashed into a power pole bringing down live wires directly opposite Mount Maunganui Intermediate.

Links Avenue in Mount Maunganui is like many other roads in New Zealand which have been reconfigured for a bus lane.

But, in this case, there is no margin for error.

There have been a number of near misses on this bit of road, including the bus ploughing into a power pole.

Resident Michael Dance says he thinks a fatality could happen. 

"The power pole fell in an area between 8.00-9.00am when kids are going to school and we had live power lines strewn amongst them," says Mr Dance.

"Every day we have hundreds of kids using this bit of shared pedestrian access, we've got three schools with over 3000 students in the local catchment."

Mr Dance is calling for at least one and a half metres separation between traffic and the footpath and bus routes to be removed from already congested roads.

Tauranga Mayor, Tenby Powell is also calling for a solution.

"Here we are putting our children in harms way...this is a road where we are asking cyclists to ride in the same area as heavy traffic in the form of buses and as we can see a lot of cars -  it's just wrong and we have to find a solution," he says. 

The Transport Agency says guidelines for public transport design are being developed but will serve as recommendations for what's best - not hard standards.

In a statement Mount Maunganui Intermediate says it's concerned about congestion, it says students can be unpredictable and need supervision while navigating this particular road.