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After a tense vote, a regional council decision to divert Wakari and Helensburgh buses away from ''dangerous'' streets drew tears of happiness from a safety campaigner.
The Otago Regional Council yesterday decided to alter part of its network to avoid areas of Shetland St, Centennial Ave and Lynn St which residents regarded as dangerous because they were steep or narrow.
Of five options, council staff preferred one which removed the first two areas of concern, but still included the steep section of Lynn St which contained Wakari Kindergarten.
First, the council moved to introduce this option, which resulted in a 6-6 tie.
Finance and corporate committee chairman Doug Brown refused to break the tie and so the motion was abandoned.
The council then introduced the option preferred by concerned local residents which removed all three areas, which passed 11-1.
There were tears in the eyes of Wakari resident Andrea Irvine after the decision.
''I'm very happy. I think I'm about to cry. 'When they were making that decision, that was the longest 15 minutes of my life. I don't know what to say.''
Before the decision, Cr Carmen Hope said she was concerned about the Lynn St section in the staff's preferred option.
''It is icy and it is dangerous. I support that we change this route.''
Cr Andrew Noone said he could not support introducing a network that still included Lynn St.
A council-commissioned report clearly indicated the routes preferred by the residents allowed more transfers, he said.
Cr Bryan Scott said he was disappointed there was no rigorous indicator of health and safety concerns in each option.
''I think there hasn't been community consultation.''
The issue began for residents in that area when bus routes were changed in September.
They created a social media page of about 90 people dedicated to the issue and held a meeting earlier this year attended by 100 people.