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The Otago Regional Council has no intention of considering a transfer, regional council chairman Andrew Noone has confirmed.
The ORC planned to increase budgets for passenger transport in the next decade and fulfil its regional transport responsibilities, Mr Noone said.
Control of bus services has been a point of friction between the two councils and Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins made the case for change during annual plan hearings this year.
‘‘Strangely, the only thing the regional council seem genuinely committed to around the bus service is maintaining complete control over it,’’ Mr Hawkins told regional councillors in June.
‘‘Our people, and our planet, deserve better.’’
In a letter to Mr Hawkins dated October 21, Mr Noone said the regional council was committed to a much more ‘‘enabling’’ regional public transport plan.
Improvements in service levels would be subject to any business case stacking up, the ORC chairman said, mindful of both benefits and costs.
However, its commitment was embedded in both its regional public transport plan and long-term plan, he said.
Mr Hawkins yesterday said he continued to believe the community would be better served by a bus network governed locally, rather than regionally.
This would not be through ‘‘some magical ability we have to do a better job of it, but through the ability it would give us to plan our transport network in a far more integrated and responsive way’’.
Mr Hawkins said the city council would continue to advocate for this, despite the regional council’s reluctance.