Grim outlook for Wellington's trolley buses

Last updated 16:54 12/06/2014

GOING, GOING ...: Councillor Sue Kedgley describes the proposal to axe Wellington's trolley buses as "one of the most shockingly short-sighted decisions this council has ever made".

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Wellington's trolley buses are facing the axe and look unlikely to survive beyond 2017.

The Greater Wellington Regional Council today agreed to the goal of a fully electric future bus fleet for Wellington, but also agreed to scrap the existing contract for trolley bus services when it expires in 2017.

The move came as the council considered its draft regional public transport plan.

There are 60 trolley buses in the city's fleet, which was upgraded at a cost of $27 million seven years ago.

Councillor Sue Kedgley described the proposal as "one of the most shockingly short-sighted decisions this council has ever made".

"It's the equivalent of pulling up the tram lines 50 years ago," she said.

But regional council chairwoman Fran Wilde described the move as "visionary", saying there was no point clinging to obsolete technology.

Paul Swain, the regional council's public transport portfolio leader said the council backed cleaner public transport.

"We believe hybrids are the best technology for use during the transition to electric buses which are still some way off," he said.

The plan includes faster and more-frequent train services, integrated fares where people use one card for all public transport services.

It will go to the full council on June 26 for adoption.

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