Buses fail to run in Balaclava

Some buses on Dunedin's Balaclava route failed to turn up yesterday morning, in the wake of expanded and changed bus services.

There are also reports some scheduled buses in Pine Hill and elsewhere did not run at the weekend.

Otago Regional Council support services manager Gerard Collings said some buses did not run on the Balaclava run early yesterday because a Ritchies driver had not been able to work.



He said the situation had been rectified by mid-morning.

Mr Collings said he was not aware of weekend cancellations or other significant problems.

He would be undertaking checks, and would soon have a debriefing with bus companies Ritchies and Go Bus, after the route and contract changes recently came into effect.

Ritchies had taken on several further bus contracts, more bus drivers were being trained and some had yet to achieve licensing. Once they had, more drivers would be available, and he was happy with Ritchies' approach.

Bus users group Bus Go has called the cancellations ''disturbing''. Co-president Alex King said the last significant disruptions were in 2004 when a new contract started but the contractor lacked enough buses or drivers.

Mr King said the council, to its great credit, made an emergency arrangement with another company and services were quickly restored.

Bus Go said, as well as the Balaclava disruption, it was understood some other services in Pine Hill and elsewhere did not run at the weekend.

''We don't want to see this disruption drag on, which would then start to dent the positives [of the improved services],'' Mr King said.

Mr Collings rejected any comparison with 2004 as unfounded ''scaremongering''.




What happened to the principle of a company being required to deliver services they are contracted for? Terrific that ORC got another company to pick up the services Ritchies dropped, but who paid the second company?



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