Bus route plans draw responses

More than 400 submissions have been lodged with the Otago Regional Council on its proposed changes to Dunedin public bus services.

Earlier this month, the council advertised its plan to change services on its Garden Village, Roslyn-Maori Hill-Prospect Park, Otago Peninsula, Port Chalmers-Ravensbourne and Waverley routes.

It also proposed to discontinue bus runs in Murray, Skibo and Lockerbie Sts as well as along the Otago Peninsula beyond Portobello.

Changes will take effect from July 1 next year, when two bus contracts expired.

ORC director of policy planning and resource management Fraser McRae said the council was pleased so many submissions had already been received, before tomorrow's 5pm deadline.

''There have been many well thought out, and constructive suggestions for improvements to the services under review. It is great to see so many people having their say on the proposed changes,'' he said.

Surveys for each of the affected routes were available on the council's website, and most submissions had been made online. he said.

Council staff also distributed printed surveys to residents where bus services were being discontinued in their present form.

The council claimed the changes were designed to simplify the network, focus travel where user demand indicated a need for services, and provide more reliable travel schedules.

Mr McRae said the council would consider all suggestions before implementing the best solution for the majority of bus users ''at a financially viable cost''.

A decision would be announced next year.

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