Bus priority projects fast-tracked, despite council admitting passenger numbers declining

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Dec 02, 2021 |


Bus priority projects will be completed over the next three years after the Christchurch City Council agreed to a programme for $5 million of government funding today.

This despite Environment Canterbury announcing yesterday that there was critical shortage of drivers and council admitting passenger numbers were declining.

The planned bus priority measures are on Lincoln Rd between Whiteleigh Ave and Wrights Rd, already open for “consultation”, Riccarton Rd (between Matipo St and Waimairi Rd), Cashmere Rd, Gloucester St and Shirley Rd.

Investigation into bus priority measures on Ferry Rd will also begin.

Council Transport Planning and Delivery Manager Lynette Ellis admitted to councillors that bus patronage numbers were declining, but said it was council’s job to encourage people to use public transport given the organisation’s declaration of a “climate emergency.”

Council Transport Planning and Delivery Manager Lynette Ellis bus priority projects were a “big and complex story.”

Urban Development and Transport Committee Chair, Mike Davidson said bringing forward the bus priority works would improve the reliability and service of Christchurch’s public transport networks.

Urban Development and Transport Committee Chair, Mike Davidson

“As Christchurch continues to grow, we need to have the public transport infrastructure in place to ensure that bus use is a cost-effective, attractive and reliable way for people to move around the city.”

However, Canterbury has been affected by a national bus driver shortage, resulting in the unexpected cancellation of some trips across Christchurch.

The projects will be paid for by the government’s Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Facility, which allows for $600,000 to be spent in the 2021-2022 financial year, $900,000 in 2022-2023 and $3.5 million in $2023-2024.

As part of the approved works package, bus detection systems and intersection improvements will also be investigated on all routes.

The Committee also resolved that staff look at bringing additional funding forward so that investigation work on further bus priority projects can be undertaken.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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