Hutt school bus routes cut

TIM DONOGHUE
GENERAL REPORTER
Last updated 07:18 01/11/2012
Hutt school bus

ROUTES CUT: The changes are part of a review by NZ Bus-owned Runcimans.

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NZ Bus has confirmed it will cut school bus routes in the Hutt Valley in a decision critics say will put children's lives at risk.

The cuts, confirmed last night, mean many children will have to use public buses and trains.

Hutt Valley Society of Independent Bus Drivers vice-president John Phillips fears there will be standing-room only at peak times, and ''kids will be turned into little missiles in the aisles''.

The changes are part of a review by NZ Bus-owned Runcimans, which operates school and charter buses in  Upper and Lower Hutt.

Twenty-five routes will be discontinued, nine will be modified, and one new route introduced.

NZ Bus chief executive Zane Fulljames acknowledged there had been robust feedback on the changes, which the company had  ''listened carefully to and modified parts of our original proposal''.

He said 31 routes operated by Runcimans, carrying 54 per cent of total customers, would remain unchanged.

Tramways Union secretary Kevin O'Sullivan said the final list of changes had not yet been decided upon.

''We're still talking to them.''

Discussions were still continuing for pupils travelling to Rudolf Steiner School from Wellington and the Hutt Valley, and to Hutt International Boys School from Alicetown and Eastbourne.

NZ Bus spokesman Rajeev Jadoo declined to comment last night on Mr Phillips' ''human missiles'' fears.

Contact Tim Donoghue
General reporter
Email: tim.donoghue@dompost.co.nz

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