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Changes to Hills Road Bus Boarders scheme

10 January 2007




Plans are underway for a revamp of the trial Hills Road bus boarders scheme.

The three-month trial which began in November aimed to encourage drivers to stop behind a bus while passengers board and alight at two specifically designed bus stops along Hills Road.

Council project manager Richard West says the boarders have been temporarily suspended while engineers make modifications to the initial design.

“What we had was not meeting our objective which is to encourage drivers to stop and allow the bus to go first,’’ says Mr West.  “We found some impatient drivers were failing to stop and others behind the lead car would follow suit. We are now modifying the design in order to meet the objective.

“The purpose of the trial was to evaluate driver behaviour around bus boarders,’’ he says. “We are looking for the least intrusive design and acknowledged that there was a need to develop the concept design in incremental phases whilst monitoring the changes in driver behaviour.

“You can’t make a change like this and expect an immediate change in driver’s behaviour and attitudes,’’ Mr West  says. “Our goal is to reduce traffic congestion by encouraging a modal shift from cars to buses while ensuring a safe environment for pedestrians and all road users”.

Engineers have come up with a number of options to improve the bus boarder scheme, but these will have to be safety audited before a final design is selected, approved and implemented, Mr West says. The trial which was expected to conclude at the end of January will most likely be extended once the revised design has been selected.”

 The Hills Road Bus Boarders Project is just a small part of a much wider scheme to introduce Bus Priority throughout the city, says Mr West.  Traffic engineers are currently working on the designs to improve traffic flow and to increase bus efficiency on the Papanui Road, Colombo Street and Queenspark bus routes.

Provisional concept designs should be available within a few months and public consultation will then take place, Mr West says.



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