Bet­ter Nel­son bus ser­vice wanted

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - SKARA BOHNY

Nel­son may get a new bus ter­mi­nal, a re­port on pub­lic trans­port says.

The uni­fy­ing thread for dozens of sub­mis­sions on the city coun­cil’s land and pub­lic trans­port plans was a de­sire for im­proved bus ser­vices.

Sub­mis­sions asked for longer-run­ning ser­vices, more fre­quent buses, and an im­proved cen­tral ter­mi­nal in­clud­ing bath­rooms.

Coun­cil­lor Mike Rut­ledge said pub­lic trans­port in Nel­son was due for an up­grade. ‘‘Our prod­uct is pretty poor at the mo­ment. That yard – be­cause that’s what it is – is not a mod­ern trans­port hub.’’

There are im­prove­ments slated for the ter­mi­nal as part of the coun­cil’s long term plan, in­clud­ing po­ten­tial re­lo­ca­tion to an­other area in the CBD.

The re­lo­ca­tion wouldn’t be tak­ing place un­til the sec­ond or third year of the plan go­ing into ef­fect. The plan cov­ers from June 2018 to June 2028.

Group man­ager of in­fras­truc­ture Alec Lou­verdis said staff were in the early stages of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into re­lo­ca­tion, but they were ‘‘work­ing to pre­pare a busi­ness case for pro­vi­sion for an in­ner city bus ter­mi­nus’’.

‘‘It is too soon to say where it will be lo­cated or what it may look like. There is fund­ing in the trans­port plan to en­able in­ves­ti­ga­tion and de­sign with some pro- vi­sional fund­ing for con­struc­tion.’’

In the mean­time, there are calls for im­prove­ments to the ex­ist­ing bus ter­mi­nal. It was noted that there are no toi­lets pro­vided at the ter­mi­nal, which Mayor Rachel Reese said should be a sim­ple prob­lem to fix.

‘‘Can we just get that done? It’s a re­ally ba­sic ser­vice,’’ she said.

There is no con­trac­tual obli­ga­tion for Nel­son Sub­ur­ban Bus Lines to pro­vide bath­room fa­cil­i­ties. The near­est pub­lic toi­let is 100 me­tres away in Mont­gomery Square.

Other im­prove­ments to the ser­vice in­clude the even­tual in­tro­duc­tion of a new bus-card sys­tem, which will give a 20 per cent re­duc­tion on all fares.

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