A proposal to relocate two bus stops less than 150m down Innes Rd has angered Mairehau shop owners, who say it will mean a loss of parking for up to eight businesses.
A petition against the changes started by Flower Bazaar owners Des Banks and Ian Harvey collected more than 700 signatures in seven days.
The city council is proposing the relocation of several bus stops in the area to align with Environment Canterbury’s changes to the Orbiter and Shirley 44 bus routes, to accommodate for the opening of the Christchurch Northern Corridor. QE II Drive will become four-laned and a right turn in and out of Philpotts Rd will not be possible, meaning a change to the Orbiter’s route.
The proposal includes moving two bus stops on each side of Innes Rd between Mahars Rd and Philpotts Rd west.
This will mean the bus stop will be right in front of a line of shops, removing seven car parks, leaving four immediate businesses without carparks and “probably another four” businesses also, said Mr Banks.
“People are just so angry about it . . . . it will eliminate our foot traffic. You know yourself, if you grab a coffee and you can’t park close you keep on driving to the next place.”
Mairehau Community Pharmacy manager Andrew Brown said the shops rely on the parking and is confused by the proposal, when the original stops are close-by. “I could walk to the bus stop already in less than a minute. It’s not even a big move, it’s not like it’s going to enable things happening that weren’t happening.”
City council acting manager operations transport Ryan Rolston said the proposal aims to place the bus stops closer to Philpotts Rd and the pedestrian crossing on Innes Rd. He said city council was aware the proposed changes would mean a loss of parking for businesses.
“No decisions have been made at this stage. This is a proposal and staff will be looking closely at concerns raised in submissions and what improvements may address those. This could include considering other bus stop locations,” he said.
Mairehau Primary School principal John Bangma said the proposal “defies logic.”
“Our main concerns are about safety of children. If there was a bus parked where the new stops will be, it’s going to be very difficult for our children on patrol in the mornings to be able to see past the bus to check if are cars coming.”