Bus lounge behaviour improves

TROUBLE SPOT: Since opening in December 2015, Riccarton Rd bus lounges attracted anti social behaviour. But authorities say that has improved. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN

Authorities and residents say the controversial Riccarton bus lounges are now trouble-free.

Since opening in December 2015, the bus lounges on Riccarton Rd have frequently attracted anti-social behaviour, including assaults.

But that is now in the past, Riccarton Community Constable Aaron Thorn said. He is cautiously optimistic that the good behaviour will continue.

“It’s been quiet this year and it’s probably down to the good work that the security guys are doing in there,” Constable Thorn said.

The anti-social behaviour died down last year, he said. This year the main concern around the lounges has been beggars.

But begging outside the bus lounges has also stopped, Constable Thorn said.

There have been occasional incidents of loitering school students this year, but they weren’t serious, he said.

“They [students] were hanging around being a nuisance. They are just loitering and not really doing much.”

Riccarton Bush and Kilmarnock Residents’ Association chairman Tony Simons said residents have noticed an improvement.

“It hasn’t been a topic of conversation for some time, so that’s a good sign. So I think the perception is that the behaviour has improved considerably,” Mr Simons said.

Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board member Catherine Chu said the board has worked hard to prevent anti-social behaviour, and sent youth workers in to ease trouble last year.

“The stories we were hearing from locals were just horrendous,” Ms Chu said.