After two rounds of consultation and over 1,300 submissions from the community, changes have been confirmed for Waimakariri’s bus services.
Environment Canterbury manager of public transport strategy, planning and marketing Edward Wright said that the most recent round of consultation held in July received over 550 responses, which were essential in helping to confirm the final routes.
“The key themes that came during our initial consultation in May informed our updated proposals in July, which we took back to the community to see if we’d got right,” he said.
“It was great to see such a high level of engagement from the community once again, and their feedback has helped us to determine a final package of changes.
In addition to the changes we have confirmed, over the coming months, we will consider whether we can retain some level of service for Waikuku residents.”
Outcomes of the proposal for Waikuku
Significant concern was heard from Waikuku residents about losing access to a public transport service as was proposed due to the low level of usage on the current service.
Wright said that many submissions were received from Waikuku residents, some putting forward alternative suggestions, such as retaining one or two trips a day, raising fares to Waikuku in order to continue operating the existing uneconomic trips, or providing a school service to Papanui Road and city schools instead.
“We understand the concerns raised by residents and are now working through options that might allow for up to two trips each weekday to and from Waikuku, including some of the ideas suggested by residents. We will communicate with Waikuku submitters again once the evaluation process is completed.”
Outcomes of the proposal for Sovereign Palms
The majority of submitters living in Sovereign Palms did not agree with the proposal for a bus service to enter the subdivision.
“Some Sovereign Palms residents felt having services closer to their homes would make it easier and more attractive to use public transport now and in the future, however, the majority told us that having the services remain on Williams Street provides good enough access to public transport for the area.
“We understand that this will come as a disappointment to some members of the community. There will be further residential development in north Kaiapoi in the future, and as this development occurs it will be necessary to review the network in this area again, including in the Sovereign Palms area.”
There was strong support from submitters for the new Pegasus-Rangiora Link service which will connect Woodend, Pegasus and Rangiora, as well as for the Blue Line route to travel via Williams Street and Lineside Road.
- Blue Line: The Blue Line will travel via Williams Street and Lineside Road. Within Rangiora, the route will continue to use the existing terminus on Ashley Street. The service will continue to operate at its current frequencies.
- 95 Pegasus-City: The 95 will travel via Silverstream to Pegasus, operating half hourly at peak times on weekdays and hourly at all other times. The route includes one trip on weekday mornings and afternoons, diverting to Kaiapoi High School so students can continue to access the school. Options that could retain up to two trips each weekday to and from Waikuku are currently being evaluated.
- Rangiora-Pegasus Link: This new service will travel hourly between 7.30am-6.30pm on weekdays, 8.30am-6.30pm on Saturdays and 9.30am-6.30pm on Sundays.
The changes will be implemented in early 2020, with an exact date to be confirmed closer to the time.