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‘Orbiter’ delegation welcomed at Environment Canterbury

‘Orbiter’ delegation welcomed at Environment Canterbury
Date: 14 Mar 2018

Today, residents and staff from the Diana Isaac Retirement Village in Mairehau travelled to Environment Canterbury’s Tuam Street offices to present a petition regarding the Orbiter bus route. They were accompanied by Dr Duncan Webb, MP for Christchurch Central.

The delegation outlined their concerns around the changes that will take place to the bus route, which currently stops outside the village on Philpotts Road, as a result of road use changes within the Northern Corridor project.

In 2011, following public consultation, NZTA’s Northern Corridor project confirmed a change in road use for Philpotts Road and QEII Drive. QEII Drive will become four-laned with a central median, and a right turn in and out of Philpotts Road will not be possible. Philpotts Road and QEII Drive will become left-in left-out only. This change is anticipated to come into effect towards the end of 2018 and will impact the current Orbiter route.

Environment Canterbury Chairman Steve Lowndes said, “The change to the road use does impact the Orbiter route. In looking at how we respond to this, the only viable option we have for the Orbiter is to re-route via Cranford Street. In making this decision, we had to balance overall coverage, directness, accessibility and cost.”

“To put this decision in context, one of the possible options was to add an extra 3km to the Orbiter circuit to take the bus to the next roundabout and back. This doesn’t seem like much of an ask, but it would delay passengers and add, on current calculations, around $350,000 per year to the cost of running the route.

The extra 3km per bus trip amounts to over 300 extra kms per day,” said Lowndes. Notwithstanding the fact that extending the Orbiter route is not a viable option, Environment Canterbury is still looking at other means of continuing the coverage and accessibility in the area, and welcomed the opportunity to hear from the Diana Isaac Retirement Village residents.

“We are pleased that Duncan Webb and the Diana Isaac residents and staff have come to see us, as we want to hear from people who use the public transport system. The more information we have the better the decision making can be. While this road change isn’t in our hands, ensuring a sustainable public transport network for the community is, and we want to be able to provide the best service we can within the constraints that we have.”

Environment Canterbury and Ryman Healthcare staff will be meeting in due course regarding the petition.


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