Letters: Bus services ‘essential’

CUTS: Two Papanui bus services are amongst six from across the city that may be cut in Environment Canterbury's draft Long Term Plan.

Nor’West News readers respond to bus services which could be cut in Papanui as part of Environment Canterbury’s draft Long Term Plan

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve general manager Kirsty Willis – I would like to voice Willowbank’s concern over the possible loss of bus 107 from service. This bus is used by our customers, staff and volunteers. It is the only cost-effective means of getting to Willowbank via public transport. It costs in excess of $40 to taxi from town, which is an incredibly embarrassing reflection on Christchurch for our tourists.

On a personal note, my son now uses the 107 to get home from high school. Other than by car, there are very few options that I consider safe if there is no 107.

A bus that dropped him in Bishopdale, would mean walking along Gardiners Rd, where there is no footpath. Gardiners Rd is no better for bikes, and I have watched many terrifying moments involving bikes and cars travelling at speed on that road.

I hope that you [Environment Canterbury] receive enough feedback to reconsider.

David Robinson – I agree with the comments in the article: “The routes are an ‘essential social service’ for people who have no other means of travel that should not have to rely on ‘fare box recovery’ to survive.”

Central government (New Zealand Transport Agency) should fully fund a full coverage (max 800m walk to any urban destination), 24-hour bus network with maximum 30min head ways.

It doesn’t have to be a fully fixed route network. On-demand transit can be used where the fixed routes would be very inefficient and connect to/from the fixed route network.

This would be especially needed at night where the fixed network would be small.

This is “true public transport” provision.

The overarching need to provide a social transport network in urban areas gets
lost in the fare box funding debate.