Auckland teenagers campaigning to save the Outer Link bus route

The Outer Link bus is a familiar sight around Auckland's central suburbs.
ALICE PARMINTER/FAIRFAX NZ

The Outer Link bus is a familiar sight around Auckland's central suburbs.

Four Auckland teenagers have started a campaign to save the Outer Link bus route.

Auckland Grammar School year 11 students Marco Stevens, Remy Copeland and Toby Richards along with Tom Day from Mt Albert Grammar School have planned a protest to raise awareness of the proposal to axe the Outer Link bus service.

The Mt Eden and Epsom teens are inviting the public to share their views on the proposed changes.

Mt Eden and Epsom teenagers Marco Stevens, Toby Richards, Remy Copeland and Tom Day are campaigning to save the Outer ...
Alice Parminter/Fairfax NZ

Mt Eden and Epsom teenagers Marco Stevens, Toby Richards, Remy Copeland and Tom Day are campaigning to save the Outer Link bus service.

Under Auckland Transport's proposal, the Outer Link, which runs in a loop around Auckland's central suburbs, would be replaced by two separate bus routes.

The Crosstown 4 would travel from Onehunga to Mt Albert via the city, while the Crosstown 6 would travel from Pt Chevalier to Glen Innes via Balmoral Rd.

The teens began a Facebook page called "Save the Outer Link" to publicise their efforts. They had more than 400 followers within 48 hours.

The Outer Link may be replaced by two Crosstown routes under the new bus network proposal.
Alice Parminter/Fairfax NZ

The Outer Link may be replaced by two Crosstown routes under the new bus network proposal.

Marco says people he has spoken to are concerned and "the absolute majority want to keep it," he says.

The new Crosstown services would bypass Mt Eden village entirely, and the students say they would have to catch two buses to get to places like St Lukes and Herne Bay.

The teens have also received feedback from elderly residents and mothers with small children, all of whom say the Outer Link makes their life easier.

Mt Eden resident June Matthews believes few Aucklanders are aware of the potential changes to the Outer Link. She says it would be illogical to remove a route which is so popular.

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"There are so many facilities this area utilises that won't be on a direct route for us anymore," she says. 

Tom says many schools would be affected as it's a popular route with high school students travelling to school. 

The protest will be begin at Essex Reserve in Mt Eden on December 8 at 11.30am. Protestors will then march through Mt Eden and follow the Outer Link route. 

PROPOSED CHANGES

Public transport network manager Anthony Cross says AT takes the consultation process very seriously.

"We will make changes to the network based on the feedback we receive," he says. 

He says AT isn't entirely happy with the loss of direct routes to Mt Eden and is also investigating other options.

However Cross says it is difficult to operate the Outer Link reliably in its current loop format. 

HAVE YOUR SAY

  • It is proposed that the Outer Link route could be replaced by the Crosstown 4 and 6 routes. See the new network map here

  • Public consultation on the new bus network closes on December 10. 

  • Visit at.govt.nz/haveyoursay to give feedback on the proposal.

 - Stuff

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