Daran Ponter, from the Greater Wellington Regional Council, was the guest speaker, telling us about the new bus services which will be operating from 2018. Full details of all changes and affected routes can be found here, or pick up a brochure about Newtown services from Kia Ora Newtown. The aim is to increase capacity without putting more buses onto congested roads. The changes will involve higher capacity buses and simplified routes. The ‘spoke and hub’ model that was originally proposed has been modified, and the routes are now much more straightforward. Good news for University students is that their voices have been heard and the number 18 service will be retained at peak hours.
People at the meeting asked about the decision to replace the trolley buses before the promised electric buses are available. Daran explained the decision for replacement was made in 2015. It wasn’t unanimous but the majority ruled. The work has already been delayed, and it isn’t practical to keep putting it off.
There was also interest in the prospects for light rail, and Daran confirmed that ‘Let’s get Welly moving’ has reinvigorated the discussion.
Submission on the Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir
The submission is due on 17th July. We discussed that the Association would make a submission that recognises the need for an emergency water supply. However the construction will have a significant impact on local residents, and we agreed that our submission will emphasise the need for mitigation of the effects of this, and also the need to protect the environment, in particular the Waitangi Stream tributary and the Papawai stream.