No KiwiRail cash for bus shelter

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 07:34 27/02/2014

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The Marlborough District Council will have to find a way to fund a new bus shelter at the Blenheim Railway Station after KiwiRail said it had no plans to contribute funds.

Mayor Alistair Sowman told the Express last week that he planned to meet KiwiRail to discuss the possibility of building a new shelter after several complaints about the situation in the past years.

But a KiwiRail spokeswoman said the decision to build a new bus shelter at the station was best dealt with by the bus company or the council.

KiwiRail had no plans to fund a bus shelter at the station, the spokeswoman said.

"While we own the station building, the benefit that an additional bus shelter would provide is for a third party," she said.

Sam Peate, general manager of InterCity Coachlines, which has two buses a day stop at the railway station, said the council had not approached it about contributing to the new bus shelter.

However, it was unlikely InterCity would help fund a shelter, Mr Peate said.

"InterCity doesn't contribute to bus stop facilities at any location in New Zealand," he said. "That would probably be our position if we were approached by the council."

It was a matter for each individual community to decide what impression they wanted to give visitors arriving by bus, he said.

Mr Sowman said council staff were coming up with a proposal to address the lack of shelter at the railway station. When ready, it would be considered by the Marlborough District Council assets and services committee. The council had been waiting to see who would lease the railway station building from KiwiRail to see if it could come to an arrangement, Mr Sowman said. But the building has remained empty since 2011.

The KiwiRail spokeswoman said it was still working with likely tenants to lease the building.

Up to 24 buses used the railway station every day.

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- The Marlborough Express

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