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Valley Road


Support for fight against bus traffic

A bus every five or six minutes on Valley Rd.

A bus every five or six minutes on Valley Rd.

The battle to stop nearly 800 buses a week from using a Mount Maunganui street has received vital political support.

A bid to stagger the timing of Bay Hopper buses using Valley Rd has been slammed by Tauranga City Council as doing nothing to appease frustrated residents.

"It will not cut the mustard. Their patience has run out," Mayor Stuart Crosby told a council meeting yesterday.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has come under heavy criticism for attempting to reduce the impact of the buses without actually reducing the number of trips. Instead a new timetable has spaced the timing of buses so they do not run so closely together.

Mr Crosby said it did not alter the fact that 768 buses a week were still using Valley Rd.

Cr Tony Christiansen agreed, saying: "Isn't it about time we started getting tough - they are our roads.

"It is not even funny, it is ridiculous. If it was my road, I would park my car across it to make the point."

The staggered timetable will be monitored by the regional council for the next four to six weeks and then reviewed. Valley Rd residents will convey their thoughts on the buses at a community meeting at 7 tonight.

In the meantime, the city council has weighed in behind the residents, with Mr Crosby underlining residents' complaints that vibrations from the buses were damaging houses and fences, compromised safety and affected the street's amenity values.

He urged the regional council to re-route buses on to Maunganui Rd or Oceanbeach Rd because staggering the buses did not meet the concerns of residents.

Mr Crosby said the load needed to be spread across the peninsula, leaving one service routed down Valley Rd instead of all three of the Mount's bus services. However, he stressed that the council did not have the power to change bus routes.

Cr Larry Baldock said a bus every five or six minutes was ridiculous. Five years ago, no buses ran down Valley Rd.

Regional council chairman John Cronin said discussions would be taking place today to see if any solution could be found to residents' concerns.

He said they would hear about the issues from council transport planners, what alternative solutions were available, and the effects of shifting services on to other roads.

"We are looking at options. If you don't meet the community's needs, then of course you look at it."

He said some compromises were required from time to time.