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Cutting bus link ‘unacceptable’

November 26, 2010

Cutting bus link ‘unacceptable’

Termination of the Ōtaki Beach to Paraparaumu Metlink bus service has not been properly consulted on and is unacceptable to the Ōtaki community, Ōtaki Community Board chair, Don Moselen, said today.

“Under the new arrangement, people from Ōtaki will have to get on the bus, get off at Waikanae Station, catch a train – which may or may not be on time – then get off at Paraparaumu and walk through a long subway to get to Coastlands. That’s ridiculous.

“Most people using the service are elderly, some have disabilities and most are travelling within the district and not going on to Wellington.

“The bus service changes are focused on reducing vehicles commuting to Wellington. This is fine as far as it goes, but it severely disadvantages the many people who wish to travel to services, shops or work within the District,” Don Moselen said.

A similar issue will affect Waikanae where bus services which had previously gone to Paraparaumu, will terminate at Waikanae Station as well.

Waikanae Community Board Chair Michael Scott echoed Don Moselen’s concerns. “Instead of encouraging local bus use, this will force more people back into cars and along that already overloaded stretch of road between Waikanae and Paraparaumu. They just haven’t thought this through.”

Mayor Jenny Rowan said Council and Kāpiti Coast residents welcomed the extension of the urban passenger rail service to Waikanae and appreciated that some changes to services may be required.

“However, Greater Wellington spent little time and spoke to few people about the Ōtaki service. Our staff approached the Ōtaki Community Advice Bureau, Kāpiti Disability Reference Group, Council Welfare Visitor, Council of Elders, and Ōtaki public transport advocate Janet McDonald.

“The feedback we got suggested people would be discouraged from using public transport under the regime being proposed, rather than the opposite.
“We have repeatedly raised issues around public transport in Ōtaki but these continue to be overlooked. We want to see a formal review of the Ōtaki bus service with full consultation started immediately.

“I agree with Don and Michael that termination of the services at Waikanae and taking away the Waikanae to Paraparaumu linkage is unacceptable,” Mayor Rowan said.

Mayor Rowan said the proposed extra bus service to connect with the Capital Connection train in Ōtaki was a step forward, although there were risks if the connection was missed, since this was the only direct rail service to Wellington.

“Another issue is that there is no proposal for a corresponding service to meet the Capital Connection in the evening at 6.35pm.

“A real positive though is the extension of the Kāpiti Plus integrated ticketing scheme which has been effective in the Paraparaumu area, to include Waikanae.

“Extending the scheme should encourage bus use which should alleviate traffic and parking problems at Waikanae Station.”


ends

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