Bus stop gets in way, owners say

Jennenne Mackie, April Elliott and Mark LeNeveu say the bus stop at 17 North Rd needs to be moved. Inset: A bus parked on North Rd blocking access to the driveway. PHOTOS: ELLA STOKES, SUPPLIED
Jennenne Mackie, April Elliott and Mark LeNeveu say the bus stop at 17 North Rd needs to be moved. Inset: A bus parked on North Rd blocking access to the driveway. PHOTOS: ELLA STOKES, SUPPLIED

A bus stop in Northeast Valley is causing major issues for business owners leaving them angry and out of pocket but, the Otago Regional Council says it has no plans to shift it.

When a bus is parked at the stop at 17 North Rd, it blocks access to the driveway for four businesses, Bloomin Gorgeous florist, Gorgeous Beauty, SPCA Op Shop and Tipplers Bar.

Having the bus stop there means there are only five roadside car parks between eight businesses.

A bus parked on North road blocking access to the driveway. Photo: Ella Stokes
A bus parked on North road blocking access to the driveway. Photo: Ella Stokes
SPCA Op Shop manager April Elliott said the bus stop was causing a ‘‘headache’’ for people in the valley, because it blocked access to the driveway for workers and customer parking, stopped people visiting the businesses and created a hazard on the busy North Rd.

She said before Christmas she was waiting on the road in her vehicle for the bus to move so she could enter the driveway and was hit by another car.

‘‘When a bus is parked there, there just isn’t enough room on the road,’’ she said.

‘‘If I parked there, I would get a ticket so why is a bus allowed to park there?

‘‘Why are the rules different for buses than they are for you and me?’’

Owner of Bloomin Gorgeous florist Jennenne Mackie said, ‘‘It’s just a pain.’’

‘‘People often tell us they couldn’t stop and come into the shop because the bus was parked in the way, blocking both the car parks, out the back
and in front of the shop.’’

Gorgeous Beauty owner Jodi Managhan said it became more of an issue when students were in town, because the side streets were so full there was ‘‘actually nowhere for customers to park’’.

Tipplers Bar owner Mark LeNeveu said having the bus stop there would result in ‘‘someone getting hurt’’.

Gerard Collings
Gerard Collings
It caused major issues for him when delivery trucks could not get in and out of the driveway.

Mr LeNeveu said recently he had noticed buses would sit in the way of the driveway for up to 10 minutes at a time.

The business owners collectively agreed the bus stop was a hazard and would like to see it shifted, but the ORC has disagreed.

The council is responsible for the operation of bus services in Dunedin.

This stop is used by Go Bus.

ORC support services manager Gerard Collings said he believed the bus stop was not a hazard ‘‘but more of an inconvenience for business owners’’.

Mrs Elliott argued that when the Dunedin City Council consulted in 2001 on moving the stop from 30 North Rd to its current location, it was only meant to be there temporarily.

However, Mr Collings said there was no record of it being a temporary shift.

Buses did not receive a ticket when they were parked there as it was ‘‘part of a designated bus stop’’, he said.

It was not an uncommon practice for a bus to be parked over a driveway in Dunedin, and it was all ‘‘part of providing a service’’.

He was unaware buses had been stopped there for long periods.

He said there was the potential for the stop to be shifted further north within the same block but ‘‘would only result in it taking up space of more car parks’’ so, at this stage, he did not have any intention for it to be shifted.

ELLA.STOKES@thestar.co.nz 

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