Do­min­ion Rd to get trans­port over­haul

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAMES PASLEY

A pub­lic trans­port over­haul along Do­min­ion Rd has busi­ness own­ers wor­ried.

From June Auck­land Trans­port (AT) will ex­tend bus lanes for two hours a day on Do­min­ion Rd, which goes through Mt Eden, Bal­moral and Mt Roskill.

The new bus lane times will be from 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm.

Bus lanes are stretches of roads ex­clu­sively used by buses dur­ing pre­scribed times. Out­side bus lane hours they can be used by other ve­hi­cles and are of­ten avail­able to be used for car parks.

Dou­ble-decker buses will be in­tro­duced next year and Do­min­ion Rd has been con­firmed as the pre­ferred route for light rail in the next 30 years.

Be­fore dou­bled-deck­ers are in­tro­duced Do­min­ion Rd would need ve­randa mod­i­fi­ca­tions, tree trim­ming and pole re­lo­ca­tions.

The changes come after the coun­cil con­trolled or­gan­i­sa­tion shelved plans for a ‘‘four lane rapid tran­sit sys­tem’’ on Do­min­ion Rd in 2010 after an out­cry from lo­cal busi­nesses.

The 2010 plan in­cluded 24-hour bus lanes and widen­ing the road to in­clude a cy­cle lane.

Do­min­ion Rd Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Chris Ham­monds said the as­so­ci­a­tion was con­cerned about ex­tend­ing the bus lane from 9am to 10am and 6pm to 7pm as it would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on busi­nesses be­cause of the loss of park­ing spa­ces.

He said busi­ness own­ers on Do­min­ion Rd were un­aware of the changes.

‘‘We were told by AT that these new bus lane hours are go­ing to be in­tro­duced Auck­land wide so we didn’t have any say in the mat­ter,’’ Ham­monds said.

Vanilla Ink Bou­tique’s owner Su­san Duck­worth said the de­ci­sion to lengthen bus lane times came as a bit of a blow.

‘‘It’s a hard sit­u­a­tion to ne­go­ti­ate, pub­lic trans­port has to im­prove but we strug­gle be­cause if peo­ple can’t park they won’t stop,’’ Duck­worth said.

Duck­worth was also con­cerned her sig­nage would have to change to make way for dou­ble decker buses.

How­ever, com­muters were more re­cep­tive to the changes.

Al­li­son Wells said wel­comed the changes.

Mount Roskill res­i­dent Lotu Ahokava said ex­tend­ing the hours of bus lanes was use­ful.

‘‘Lots of peo­ple fin­ished late and would miss out on the bus lanes so I think this will be bet­ter,’’ Ahokava said. she

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