Durham Street buses challenged

Durham Streets buses were not okayed by the neighbours. Photo: Supplied.

City councillors have been told their underlying attitude to putting people on buses is revealed by the proposal to place a bus transfer station at the south end of Durham Street.

“I see from the physical choice from where you have shoved the bus interchange at the south end of Durham Street,” says Barrister Kate Barry-Piceno.

“And when you look at what options have been rejected, there seems to me quite a strong message that’s being spoken, and it’s the elephant in the room. Of those who uses the buses and what the bus interchange looks like – somewhat unattractive.

”We don’t want it here. We don’t want it in front of our fancy buildings or residential buildings, and we don’t want it in front of our civic buildings - so we will shove it up the back of Durham Street - and therefore  out of sight out of mind, but we will say that it’s part of the CBD.

“That’s quite brutally what I see is what has happened.”

Speaking on behalf of Durham Street property owners feeling left out of the council’s consultation process about the proposal, Kate says it’s not how transport systems are treated in ‘real cities’.

“In real cities, grown up cites, transit isn’t a social service that’s for the lowest rung of society, in fact it’s supposed to really reflect the most important part of cultural diversity in our city because for some people the only time when they interface with their whole society and who’s in their city, is in that public bus service.”

Kate told committee members during the meeting’s public forum that she was representing a number of business owners that own properties at the southern end of Durham Street, who are alarmed at being left out of the consultation process on the proposed Durham Street interchange.

Kate asked councillors why they were shoving the bus interchange out the back end of Durham Street.

“Why are you not embracing it right in your civic heart to say ‘this is our people?’

“And if it’s not who you like then shouldn’t everyone be seeing that and doing something about that.

“And where is your bus service going in terms of trying to say if we want our city to offer a transit service that is going to be an opportunity for people, rather than just a bottom rung social service, then you need to make it something that you embrace whole heartedly as part of where your new city vision is going.

“And so that’s the consultation that I think you should be having about looking at what is transit. What’s its role over the next 30-40 years, where is your city headed if you want it to be part of people giving up their cars and saying it’s not my right to hop in a car?

“It’s actually a very viable option. Transit offers the opportunities to get to any place anywhere, if that’s the vison with the regional council then make it happen by encouraging all those stakeholders to engage in what’s the best opportunities for buses.”

Kate was speaking immediately after architect Brendan Gordon, who is suggesting a bus interchange can be located in the civic heart, crossing the block from Wharf Street to Hamilton Street at about the level of the alley between Baycourt and the library and exiting at the level of the Citizens Advice bureau.

Councillor Larry Baldock says the Durham Street location was chosen in case the Willow Street interchange had to move for the demolition of the administration building.

“And now it’s got legs to where it’s seen as that’s where we are going. That isn’t the case. It’s been looked at.”

He says Kate made good points about why the council need to consult and that there is a transport study now underway to find the best transport options for the city.

In February the city council voted to spend $50,000 on looking at further options in addition to the Durham Street proposal.

At the time it was said that if the bus interchange is located elsewhere, then the part of Durham Street that has been designed to allow for the interchange could either be planted or retained as on-street car parking, or a combination of these two options.



Posted on 15-03-2018 01:15 | By Capt_Kaveman

councilors are to busy flying over seas and still get it wrong,

Why change ?

Posted on 14-03-2018 22:52 | By kaimai2

Why not close Willow street to cars and leave the buses where they are ? Its a central location and user friendly . Clear the area of the usual malcontents and give the area good cleanup .

Yet Another Query

Posted on 14-03-2018 13:01 | By Lvdw

So it seems the council so far is bottoming out with their proposals. Museum, bus interchange, fancy new temple, I mean council building... Is it just my imagination or are the ratepayers now simply fed up with the over the top excessive spending, non consultation of relevant individuals and general delusions of grandeur? They should take a leaf out of a woodworkers book - measure twice, cut once.

Bottom level service?

Posted on 14-03-2018 11:35 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Where ever you put them the result is the same. The manner and level of operation is the cause of the problem.

Just Look ....

Posted on 14-03-2018 11:33 | By chancer

... at Hamilton Bus interchange - it works well, is accessible, had city & intercity buses plus taxis and nice facilities for waiting passengers. Right on the city fringe - wouldn’t cost $50,000 to pop across the hill to have a look Council !!

Some good and fair points...

Posted on 14-03-2018 10:45 | By morepork

...made in these arguments. If our bus service is to be successful, it has to be embraced by everybody. At the moment that has not happened. It needs to change.


Posted on 14-03-2018 08:23 | By Captain Sensible

Since xmas, the most people i have ever seen in a bus is 6. Normally it’s 0-2.

Short Sighted

Posted on 14-03-2018 07:05 | By Road Ranger

The bus interchange should have been incorporated with the Council redevelopment in Willow St instead of Durham St. This building could have housed the council, shops, food hall and local, inter city, tour and taxi vehicles. May pay to look at some overseas examples and see how they work successfully. Have they given any thought to how the elderly and special needs people are going to get to the "new" location.

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