Residents scathing of bus shelter

Picton residents are struggling to warm to a new $160,000 bus shelter built near the foreshore earlier this year.

Atlantis backpackers' hostel owner Sheira Hudson said during the bouts of heavy rain in the over the past month, the shelter had done little to protect people from the elements as they waited for their bus.

On one occasion last month she sent a staff member across the road to photograph the shelter, in front of the Picton i-Site, as rain water was pouring directly inside the structure.

Instead of using the shelter, people were huddled by the i-Site to avoid the rain, she said.

"Because of the slope of the roof, the rain sweeping down gathers at the top and it's like a full bucket of water pouring down your neck."

The open design also provided no shelter from the wind, and on a hot day, the glass roof provided no protection from the sun, Hudson said. "All it is is a billboard."

Picton residents had not been given a chance to have their say on the shelter before the Marlborough District Council gave it the go-ahead, she added.

Fellow Picton resident Graeme Ward said he and his wife Carolyn were "staggered" that the council would spend $160,000 on a bus shelter.

The couple had been told the money was allocated to be spent in Picton, but even as "Pictonites", they would rather have seen it used elsewhere.

"We would rather have seen the money spent on the Seddon water supply or something worthwhile that needed to be done . . . they could have put [a bus shelter there] for a fraction of that price."

They were particularly concerned that the council would do the same thing with the new bus shelter at the Blenheim Railway Station.

"We are paying big rates here and it's just crazy when it's wasted like this," Ward said.

Council support services manager Dean Heiford said different designs would be explored for the Blenheim site.

"The design for that site is what could fit on that site, if you look at it it's very narrow," he said.

When work began on the shelter it was discovered extra work needed to be done on the foundations, which impacted on the cost, Heiford said.

Picton councillors were unavailable for comment on Friday.

The Marlborough Express