Pact soon on shelter designs

The design of Dunedin's bus shelters will soon be debated again as the Otago Regional Council and the Dunedin City Council work towards an agreement.

Bus shelters have been a controversial issue in the city for many years and the regional council's eight-month financial report indicated no new bus shelters had been installed in those eight months.

When asked why, corporate director Wayne Scott said an agreement was being completed between the two councils over the roles and responsibilities around shelters, to give the city council the mandate to contract bus stops on a three-year rolling basis incorporating "thought" on new designs for shelters.

"There was a feeling that the historic green shelters sometimes do not suit the environment and are sometimes not that practical."

Potentially, some work could also be done to look at where some stops were in relation to others, as some were too close together and others too far apart, he said.

Cr David Shepherd said he was delighted bus shelter designs were going to be reviewed, after concerns about the cost of the structures and the lack of protection some gave to patrons in "howling southerlies".

Mr Scott said councillors would get some input into the design changes but the cost of the actual shelter was unlikely to change much. Lower costs would come from changes the city council made to installation consents.

Chief executive Graeme Martin said the design was chosen at the time to suit the streetscape vision of the city but was not necessarily a good design for a bus shelter.

Bus shelters installed in Queenstown were in a totally different modern design but had advantages for security, as the glass allowed light in and also as they enabled bus drivers to see from a distance whether there were passengers to pick up.

Mr Scott said March bus-patronage figures were the highest for the month in four years; 155,000 trips taken compared with about 151,000 last March and 153,000 in March 2009.



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