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Devonport has its say

October 18, 2005

Devonport has its say

Five hundred and sixty residents and workers took part in the Devonport travel study which ended last month.

The information on people's current travel habits will be used to review bus services and parking in the Devonport town centre.

The travel study is a joint initiative between North Shore City Council, the Devonport Community Board and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority to encourage people to use public transport.

North Shore City's transport planner, Tracy Wheeler, acknowledges the Devonport Community Board for its help with the survey which attracted a wide public response.

As the survey was web based, Devonport Community Board member, Jan Holmes, visited older community groups to raise project awareness and encouraged them to participate.

"The web-based format was very successful, however we needed to ensure that we had responses from members of the community who may not have internet access or skills needed to complete the survey. We also had hardcopy forms available on request," says Ms Holmes.

"The study was initiated when the Stanley Bay/Cheltenham inter-peak bus route was stopped, then reinstated. We were concerned that the bus service did not meet resident's needs. In order to review bus services successfully we need information to make the right decisions."

Initial results show more frequent services, improved public transport information and integrated ticketing would be most likely to encourage people to use public transport. A significant number of respondents already used public transport.

"Preliminary analysis of the results has identified areas we need to focus on to get more people using buses and ferries," she says.

"In a previous survey from June we found that 70 per cent of people parked in the vicinity of Devonport Wharf live within 2 km - that's a relatively short walk or bus ride. We're investigating how we can encourage those people to leave their cars at home."

In addition to the travel study, a parking inventory has been carried out which will be used to manage existing spaces better. The study is linked to the Devonport town centre redevelopment project.

A snapshot of comments made in the travel study include:

* "A more frequent service would be nice to allow more flexibility."

* "I prefer the convenience of not having to organise myself to fit in with a bus timetable. Also, the cost of driving to the wharf is similar to the bus fare."

* "Being able to catch a bus from Birkenhead to Devonport would stop me using my own transport."

* "I don't use it (public transport) now due to the lack of integrated ticketing."

* "Promote walking and cycling on the ferry."

* "The walk home from the nearest bus stop is as far as the walk from the ferry terminal itself. If the bus took a detour along Calliope Rd it would make a big difference."

* "Provide secure undercover parking for bikes away from sea-spray."


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