Wait for new bus shelters continues
Greater Wellington Regional Council has not installed any new bus shelters so far this financial year, despite its goal of having 30 new shelters in place by the end of June.
The council identified a need for 162 new bus shelters across the region in February last year. So far, just 15 of those have been installed.
But the council says it is on track to hit its 2016-17 target, with 13 new bus shelters due to be installed before the end of this month and another 17 to be installed by the end of June.
Angus Gabara, the council’s manager of bus and ferry operations, insisted it would not only meet the June 30 target, ’’but we’ll beat it’’.
The reason no shelters had been installed during the first nine months of the financial year was because the council had focussed on replacing existing shelters across the region.
It has completed 31 renewals against a target of 40 by June 30.
It takes very little time to build brand new shelters, but the installation process can be held up by neighbourhood consultation, checking sites for suitability and, in some cases, applying for a resource consent, Gabara said.
The regional council needs to apply for resource consent to build seven of its proposed new shelters in Wellington city.
Councillor Barbara Donaldson, chairwoman the council’s Sustainable Transport Committee, said the shelters awaiting resource consents would be built as soon as the paperwork was taken care of.
‘‘We often have to delay planned installation to work through objections from neighbours.’’
But a Wellington City Council spokesman said it had not yet received any resource consent applications from the regional council for bus shelters.
Once the applications have been received, the process of deciding on consent normally takes 20 days.
Last year the regional council set aside $1.9 million for the new shelters and other bus stop infrastructure, as well as supporting the new 2018 bus network.
Fifteen new bus shelters were installed in the 2015-2016 financial year when the council first outlined its bus stop prioritisation plan.
Contact Metlink to find out if your local bus stop is destined to have a shelter.
Council’s target is to install 30 new shelters this financial year.