Base could become key transport hub

RACHEL THOMAS
Last updated 05:00 09/07/2014

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The Base could become a key public transport hub, if Waikato Regional Council listens to voices among Hamilton bus users.

At a Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) Development Committee meeting this week, stakeholder feedback pointed to providing better public transport for northern parts of Hamilton, specifically coverage of Rototuna and Flagstaff and better service to The Base and Wintec's Rotokauri campus (also known as Avalon).

Go Bus already operates a Northern Connecter service to The Base, but feedback called for more urban services, with transfer possibilities.

A targeted consultation was done between April and June this year with key players in transport, including the regional transport committee, members from regional council and Hamilton City Council, Hamilton Public Transport Joint Committee, New Zealand Transport Agency and bus operators.

Ben Barlow, public transport operations manager, said meetings have been planned with Tainui Group Holdings and Wintec to further explore options for service and infrastructure improvements.

"There's been very good support for us to continue to use The Base as a key terminal and we are having a meeting out there with Tainui Group Holdings next week to ensure that the infrastructure can cater for the additional services that we are proposing to terminate there."

Barlow said the plan needed to ensure areas of new growth were properly serviced. "There was general support to service, in some capacity, the northern suburbs."

This would include the burgeoning suburbs of Rototuna and Flagstaff and mean more support for direct commuter services between central Hamilton and the north.

"We understand a full network redesign is not necessary," said Barlow. "We are certainly working on the premise of evolution not revolution . . ."

Mike Pohio, chief executive for Tainui Group Holdings, which owns The Base, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Other major themes from the stakeholder feedback included: ensuring Lynden Court at Chartwell could cater for additional services, investigating an east to west service that bypasses the transport centre, supporting increased coverage to the new development in Rototuna and providing better service to Wintec Avalon Campus.

The RPTP is a strategic document that affects the public transport components of the Waikato Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) over the next 10 years from 2015 to 2025.

A meeting at the end of July will continue conversations on whether 10 rural school bus routes around the Waikato will get the cut. 

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- Waikato Times

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