Great turnout for bus meeting

posted 14 Sept 2018, 00:53 by CPCA Secretary

A public meeting organised by the Community Association, in conjunction with local list MP Brett Hudson, to give residents an opportunity to express their concerns about the new bus network drew a large turnout.

All five councillors of the Wellington constituency of the Regional Council attended – Chris Laidlaw, Ian McKinnon, Daran Ponter, Roger Blakeley and Sue Kedgley. They were joined by all three Ward City Councillors – Jill Day, Peter Gilberd and Malcolm Sparrow – and the two local MPs – Greg O’Connor and Brett Hudson. CPCA believes this shows how important the topic is to them and the high regard in which the Association is held.

The meeting opened with short speeches from Brett Hudson and Greg O’Connor. Then the Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) Chris Laidlaw spoke of the regret of the Council about the state of affairs resulting from the roll-out of the new region-wide system and their determination get things right.

At this stage, members of the audience were given the opportunity to say what problems they had encountered and what they would to see in the way of fixes. Recurring issues were buses not adhering to timetable (both arriving before they are due and running late or not showing up at all), the early evening stopping of services (especially the route 19 loop service) that was impacting on the ability to work late or indulge in social activities, the need to increase both very early and late services, the early stopping of evening services resulting in the need to walk long distances in poor lighting and often inclement weather being regarded as both most inconvenient and a safety issue, the overcrowding on buses, the buses being full and unable to embark Churton Park commuters caused by people using the service to get to the railway station only, problems with buses dropping off the information boards or being listed and not showing, the need for earlier buses in the morning to cater for people such as nurses who need to get to work for 7 o’clock shifts, significant problems with school buses (again overcrowding and reduction of cross-city services) and poor connections available to university students.

Clr Daran Ponter then spent some time explaining a number of the measures being taken to correct the situation. These include the revamping of timetables, noting the amendments should be ready for implementation by mid-October, the right-sizing of buses to cater for passengers numbers which vary throughout the day, measures to stop “bunching” through the CBD, the hiring in from overseas of expertise to fix the Real Time Information Board issues, and better driver training. He indicated the service providing companies would soon begin to be financially penalised for non-compliance with GWRC requirements.

Attendees were invited to complete “Post-it” stickers highlighting positive and negative points about the changes. These comments, along with those given orally at the meeting, and earlier in the week by CPCA committee members, will be considered by Metlink.

Subsequent feedback from all the councillors present indicates they appreciated the clear and courteous manner in which residents put their concerns. CPCA is sure this reflects the ethos of Churton Park and reflects the way the suburb conducts itself.

GWRC is keen to continue to work with the Association on the bus and allied issues. This is being progressed as a matter of urgency.

Metlink have established a new page on their website to include questions and answers.

The link is

Residents can also email comments to Cr Daran Ponter