Corstorphine resident Judith Hewitt is collecting signatures for a petition to have changes to the public bus service reversed. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
A petition seeking reinstatement of the former Corstorphine
public bus service will be presented to the Otago Regional
Almost 200 signatures have been collected by Corstorphine
resident Judith Hewitt, who has spent weeks at a Princes St
bus stop garnering support for the petition.
She said the Corstorphine-Kew-St Clair Park service, which
has been in operation since July 1 last year, angered
residents who relied on public transport.
''It's not good enough. We are not happy,'' she said.
The service was implemented when contracts for previous
Kew resident Lynley Hood, who helped draft the petition, said
to attend a 9am meeting in central Dunedin she had to catch a
bus which left St Clair Park at 6.50am.
Dr Hood obtained, under the Official Information Act,
patronage data from the Otago Regional Council in relation to
the Corstorphine route for the months before and after the
service was changed last July.
She also asked for the number of complaints received by the
council in relation to the route for that period.
Dr Hood said data showed the change had resulted in a 30%
decline in patronage and a ''130% increase'' in complaints.
In an opinion column published on the Otago Daily
Times website, Dr Hood said the change came without
''The travel of workers, schoolchildren and everyone else was
thrown into chaos,'' she said.
The petition called for the council to acknowledge decreased
patronage and discontent with the Corstorphine service, and
to reinstate the previous service until routes and timetables
which best suited residents were developed.
Problems with the Corstorphine route were also mentioned in a
submission to the council by Bus Go Dunedin, which also asked
for the former service to be reinstated.
The group's submission cited delays and disruptions caused by
unnecessary diversions on the new route, its complex and
confusing timetable, irregular departure times, and changes
which eliminated the ''regular, convenient, predictable and
heavily used loop service'' that was previously in operation.
''The recent Bus Go Dunedin meeting held to discuss the
proposed bus service changes was attended by what can only be
described as an angry mob of Corstorphine residents.
"They are distressed that the ORC's only response to their
complaints about the July changes is to propose further
cuts,'' the submission stated.
ORC manager support services Gerard Collings said the council
was aware of concerns about the Corstorphine service, and it
was included in its latest proposal to improve public bus
transport in Dunedin.
The proposal attracted more than 400 submissions, which were
being analysed by council planning staff.
''Staff are taking the concerns seriously and they are
looking at options for that particular service,'' Mr Collings
The council acknowledged the drop in patronage on the
Corstorphine route, but he said it was not uncommon for
patronage to drop following route changes.
Any change to the Corstorphine service was unlikely to occur
before July 1.
A decision would probably be made in the next month or two,
after which there would be a period of consultation with