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Hills Road bus boarder trial to resume

11 July 2007

The Hills Road bus boarders trial which aims to get buses to their destination on time will resume on Monday. (July 16 2007).

Design improvements will ensure the scheme, which is part of the bus prioritisation project and which was first trialled last year, works more effectively, says Project Manager Richard West.

The bus boarder is built out from the existing kerb line and provides a convenient platform for passengers boarding and alighting the bus. It is separate from the adjacent pedestrian footpath and cycle and reduces the re-entry time.

Currently there are two bus boarders in Hills Road, and as they are at places where most people are getting off, the duration of time motorists spend stopped behind the bus is minimal.

Mr West says there are several differences between the former trial and the current one. These have been brought about by the monitoring of the former design and through further safety audits.

The size of the lane has been reduced so cars cannot pass and there are now double yellow lines in the middle of the road which clearly indicates to drivers they cannot pass when the bus is stopped at the boarder.

Cyclists now pass behind the bus boarder making it much safer as they are out of the traffic stream at that point.

"Letting drivers and the public know how the scheme works is an important part of the process. Neon signage is being used to advise drivers what they should do at the bus boarder.. Pamphlets and other information is being distributed and are available at service centres,’’ says Mr West.

"We are facing increasing problems with transport in the city and this is only going to get worse. Having a reliable and efficient public transport system is one of the solutions and we have to look at ways to make this happen.’’

The Metro Strategy 2006 – 2012 has forecast a 160% increase in traffic congestion along the main corridors in the next 15 years as traffic growth increases by 20%, he says.

"We have to address this issue now. While it is preferable to put bus lanes throughout the city, there are times when this is not appropriate such as in areas of strip shopping where on-street parking has to be removed.

"The bus boarder provides a viable alternative which is why we need this trial. We want to have a number of options for getting buses to their destination on time and this is one of them.’’

The trial will run for three months with full public consultation which will finish on 26 October, 2007. Feedback will then be collated and findings reported back to Council.

Plans for the three bus routes which will feature bus priority measures will be out for public consultation in October 2007.

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