Bus drivers' route ruins pensioner's peace

Thelma Mason.
Thelma Mason.
An Arrowtown pensioner wants to know why her once-peaceful, narrow street is now a highway for buses.

But Orbus, the local bus service managed by the Otago Regional Council, is not planning any changes.

Thelma Mason (77) has lived at the same Thomson St address for more than 30 years.

But since November last year, Orbus drivers had started using her street to loop back and head in the opposite direction at the end of their route, Mrs Mason said.

''I've just found it really stressful to think that, for as long as I live, this is going to carry on in my peaceful quiet street.

''They're going to send a bus past every hour forever more.''

Eighteen buses sped past her house every day, starting at 6am.

''It affects me all day long. It's like having eczema; it's just a constant itch.''

If the buses met another vehicle in her street, the driver had to partially pull off the road to make room for the bus.

ORC support services manager Gerard Collings said it was safe and a change would mean ''added cost to the service''.

''Locations are determined with the operator [Ritchies], based on the most cost-effective and efficient use of the public roading network,'' he said.

According to the Orbus timetable map, buses enter Arrowtown on the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes road, turn into Berkshire St, turn right into Buckingham St, turn right again into Bedford St and continue on to Centennial Ave and then right into Adamson Dr.

What the map does not show is the bus drivers' route into Fox's Tce or Ritchie St and along Thomson St, where Mrs Mason lives.

Mr Collings said consultation was not required because it was a public road.

Queenstown mother Krista Baker moved house with her children in November, five days after Orbus was launched, because she could not stand buses idling outside her home in Fernhill, another route end.

She is now living peacefully in Shotover Country.

''As soon as I realised nothing was going to stop them, I knew I had to move house. I'd been there nearly eight years.

''I'm now paying $400 a week more to be able to sleep at night.''


First world problems indeed

Yet another cost of public transport.