Residents opposing bus routes will have another chance to have their say

MISSED OUT: Environment Canterbury has confirmed it will combine the 135 Burwood Hospital and 150 The Palms bus route, meaning the 135 will no longer travel into New Brighton.

People opposed to recent changes to the bus routes in the eastern suburbs will get another chance to have their say.

The Greater Christchurch Public Transport Joint Committee will put out the draft Regional Public Transport Plan for consultation later this year.

This will be an opportunity for communities to have their say on the future shape of the bus network, including the long-term vision, priorities and action plan.

Following adoption of the RPTP, detailed consultation at a bus route level will occur early next year.

It comes as a public meeting was held in New Brighton to gauge concern over the new bus route changes.

About 60 people attended the meeting last Monday to discuss the latest changes Environemtn Canterbury has implemented as part of its Long Term Plan.

Christchurch East MP Poto Williams said there is a group of concerned people who now have an opportunity to collectively work on the next part of the process.

Key concerns raised at the meeting included the ability for residents reliant on the bus services to get to doctor appointments, shopping centres and work.

It comes after ECan confirmed it would combine the 135 Burwood Hospital and 150 The Palms bus routes in June.

The new bus route will now stop at the Taiora: QE II Recreation and Sport Centre and no longer travel into New Brighton.

The consistency and quality of bus stops in the area was raised by Disabled Persons Assembly Christchurch and Districts president Philip Haythornthwaite.

He told Pegasus Post if the bus stops are not up to scratch they can affect patronage.

An example was a bus stop recently installed on Stanmore Rd outside Kora Kitchens.

Mr Haythornthwaite said the footpath is “deeply angled” and if you were to push a wheelchair there was potential for it to fall over.

City council transport operations manager Ryan Rolston said staff are working with a contractor to rectify the grade issue at Stanmore Rd and should be resolved in two weeks.

What could be done to improve ECan’s submission process and make its website more “user-friendly” was also discussed.

Senior public transport manager Stewart Gibbon said ECan is looking at how the submission process could be improved.