Feedback on changes to the public transport network for the Hibiscus Coast closed last month with more than 800 submissions received, and more than 70% of people supporting or strongly supporting the changes proposed.
The Hibiscus Coast is the second area of Auckland to have been consulted on as part of the move to the new public transport network, which will be implemented in phases across the whole Auckland region.
“This is tremendously encouraging,” says Anthony Cross, Public Transport Network Manager, “because the Hibiscus Coast will be one of the first areas where we will implement the New Network.” The Hibiscus Coast New Network is planned to be introduced next year.
“With changes of this scale there are always challenges, and it’s very promising to know that overall people want to move forward with us,” he says.
Proposals included extending the popular Northern Express bus service to Silverdale, and buses running more often between Orewa, Silverdale and Whangaparaoa. Both proposals received strong support from residents in the survey. More than 70% said they wouldn’t mind transferring as part of their journey, in return for overall improved local services.
Facilitating the New Network will be a new bus interchange at Silverdale located where the current Park and Ride is, with parking spaces increasing from 100 to nearly 500. The interchange is planned to open in 2016.
Some of the key concerns raised by residents included the trial Arkles Bay bus service and reduced service proposed for Dairy Flat Highway.
Lorraine Maguire, Senior PT Planner – Engagement, says “We appreciate people’s feedback and are now in the process of analysing submissions in detail. All potential issues will be thoroughly investigated before final decisions are reached. A consultation summary including the final New Network for the Hibiscus Coast will be available on our website at the end of the year.”
Implementation of the Hibiscus Coast New Network is planned for mid-2015.
The New Network is based on some fundamental changes to the way public transport operates that will result in benefits such as buses running more often, and increased service 7 days a week.