Mixed feelings over bus hub

Workers begin construction on Dunedin's bus hub in Great King St yesterday. Photo: Christine O...
Workers began construction on Dunedin's bus hub in Great King St on Wednesday. Photo: Christine O'Connor

Businesses in Great King St are concerned about losing car parking when the Otago Regional Council’s bus hub is built, but many feel the hub will bring more foot traffic to the area.

Construction was due to start this week and is expected to be finished in November.

About 37 car parks in the street would be lost but gained in other streets due to the removal of other bus stops.

Community House management committee chairwoman Debbie Webster said the bus hub would be a ‘‘positive thing for the community’’.

Many people who used the house’s services were likely to use the hub as well, so it was a good fit, she said.

The house would lose three car parks but had ‘‘worked that out with the ORC’’.

‘‘We are fairly confident with the conversations we have had with the project team.

‘‘There’s been, to date, good communication, so we are happy.’’

Smiths Sport Shoes co-owner Greg Lapwood said he was concerned about the impact construction of the hub and loss of car parks would have on his business.

‘‘All that car parking is going, so where are people going to park?

‘‘Construction is going to hurt,’’ he said.

Mr Lapwood was unsure of the effect once the hub was up and running.

Look Sharp Store manager Thomas Sebastian said he expected more people to visit the store once the hub was completed, but was also concerned about the lack of parking.

Even now, customers would tell him there was nowhere for them to park their cars in peak times, he said.

Refined Rig stylist Sun Dean said although she was concerned by the loss of car parks, the shop was more of a ‘‘destination store’’ so felt customers would still ‘‘seek us out’’.

She hoped it would be off-set by an increase in pedestrian traffic so ‘‘only time will tell the overall impact on our business’’.

‘‘The design of the hub seems really positive and the council have taken the time to consult with all stakeholders.

‘‘It looks like the finished product will improve the amenity of the street and hopefully attract more people to the area.

‘‘It makes sense to centralise the buses in one area, and hopefully it will turn into a positive for us and for Dunedin.’’

A Countdown spokesman said: ‘‘We think the bus hub will be good for the central city and we look forward to seeing it come together over the coming months.’’

JESSICA.WILSON@thestar.co.nz 

Comments

Did anyone ask the hundreds of bus users? Oh yes it was called public consultations and ORC took no notice. A handful of businesses in leased buildings are much more important. Be nice it the reporters asked bus users too.

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