Bus route stays after public outrage

23:40, Sep 03 2014

Public outcry over changes to bus routes has led to Environment Canterbury altering its proposed plans.

Four bus routes were set to get the axe in December, but one has been spared after ECan changed its mind due to public submissions.

The Lyttelton to Eastgate route 535 will continue after a 163-signature petition from residents.

The loss of the BNZ bank in Lyttelton was one of the main reasons cited, meaning residents were reliant on services in Ferrymead.

Anthony Wilding Retirement Village's petition of 99 signatures means route 60 Halswell to New Brighton will now go through Aidanfield Dr.

ECan commissioners will tomorrow decide whether proposed stage-three bus changes will roll out on December 8.

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Changes were required after a 35 per cent drop in bus service patronage and an operating deficit of $5.5 million, said an ECan report.

Public submissions did not save three services: Edgeware to Northlands, Bishopdale to Northlands and Eastgate via Aranui and Avondale. They will be axed due to low user numbers.

About 2300 submissions were received on the proposed changes with 44 per cent not in support.

ECan said 40 per cent of these submission have been dealt with through amendments.

Stage three of the bus changes sees the high-frequency service running every 10-15 minutes and through the central city on the following routes: Queenspark and Halswell, New Brighton and Hornby, and Sumner and Avonhead, with a number of ''feeder'' services from the suburbs into the mainline. The Orbiter and Blue Line will continue.

Other routes which have been changed due to public submissions include the ''Metrostar'' and the New Brighton-Southshore 151.

The Press