Red-zone tour price 'bit steep'

ANNA TURNER AND RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 05:00 04/07/2012

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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Commercial bus tours of the Christchurch's shattered city centre have been met with approval by many, but questions are being raised over "steep" ticket prices.

Red Bus announced yesterday they would begin running 30-40 minute red-zone tours from July 17 through Christchurch at a cost of $15 per person.

The tours would start outside the Canterbury Museum and drive through the cordoned area of the central city.

Passengers would be able to see and hear information through digital imagery and commentary from a Canterbury Museum guide during the tour.

City councillor Glenn Livingstone said he would be in support of the tours if the price was lowered.

"A lot of people, especially people on fixed incomes like the elderly, will struggle with the current price. The idea is a good one but I think it would be a lot more popular if they made the price a bit lower."

Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale thought the tours would be popular, but also said the ticket prices seemed "a bit steep".

"It depends on what their running costs are, but I would have thought about $10 for a ticket would have been better. Personally, I think there will be a lot of interest and there is still a lot to see. I think it will actually be good for people to see the state of the central city."

Red Bus chief executive Paul McNoe said he believed the ticket price was "reasonable" considering the costs involved.

"We think it is fair considering the amount of money that had to go into things like health and safety requirements to set this up. The tour also has very extensive commentary, with visual and audio aspects, so that adds in to the ticket price," he said.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there about what happened in Christchurch and we'll be telling the story of the whole earthquake, from the day, to community involvement, to recovery."

The service is aimed at tourists as well as locals.

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- The Press

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