Elderly residents anxious over planned bus cuts
Elderly residents in New Windsor and Avondale face a long walk to the bus stop if proposed cuts to services go ahead.
The Auckland Regional Transport Authority is reviewing a number of routes throughout the region, including the 104 and 105 services, which run trips from New Windsor to LynnMall where many locals do their shopping.
ARTA estimates only five passengers are using the bus per trip.
But 93-year-old Mary Farmer says many elderly residents will be affected if the buses are cancelled.
“I find these buses very helpful as do many people.
“If it’s not available it would cause a lot of hardship,” she says.
The Avondale resident says a lot of pensioners no longer drive and would struggle to catch other bus services.
“The other routes are a considerable distance away. It would be quite impossible for many elderly people to walk those distances.”
She says mothers with young children would also find it hard to get around if the service is canned.
Mary’s daughter and community board member Catherine Farmer says the loss of the 104 and 105 services would be a double blow for elderly residents, with some banks no longer having a local presence.
“They do some grocery shopping but if they want to get their bank book checked by a teller they have to go out to LynnMall.”
Community board transport spokesman Paul Davie says he’s in discussions with ARTA about the future of the route.
Mr Davie is concerned at the impact cancelling the service will have on elderly passengers. “Change can be hard for people like that. Some of them won’t cope with it.”
New Lynn MP David Cunliffe’s office has also fielded complaints from several concerned residents about the potential loss of the service.
ARTA communications manager Sharon Hunter says they are mindful of the needs of elderly people, but other routes are available if the numbers aren’t there to maintain the 104 and 105 buses.
She says it’s unlikely the organi- sation would consider downgrading to a smaller-sized bus.
A letter from ARTA sent to the Avondale Community Board says in the current economic climate, routes that don’t have certain passenger numbers are being reviewed.
Public consultation on the future of the service finished last week, with a decision expected in midNovember.
Long wait: Avondale resident Mary Farmer, 93, is concerned the possible cancellation of the 104 and 105 bus service will leave many elderly residents without access to shops at LynnMall.