Carparks taken over by buses

A ‘Not In Service’ bus parked across carparks at the front of Tauranga District Courthouse. Photo: Supplied.

Buses parked across carparks in the Tauranga CBD and ‘Not in Service’ buses stationed for hours at Durham St bus stops has got one city resident frustrated.

Bruce Porter, an observant city dweller, says the powers at be are “making a hash” of where buses park when they’re not in service.

He’s noticed buses being parked at the Durham St bus stop for hours at a time.

“What they’re doing is using [the Durham St Bus stops] as a changeover point,” says Bruce.

“The drivers go down into Wharf St and have their cups of coffee, and go back – but there might be 14, 15 buses parked.

"It’s a pick up and drop off point, not park and leave them for hours.”

Bruce says this has been going on for about two-and-a-half years.

“I’ve also started to notice that they’re starting to park outside the district courthouse across carparks.”

“They just seem ad hoc. Drivers just pull up in the carparks.”

“Parking is at premium around here [in the CBD] and they’re just making a mockery of it as far as I’m concerned.”

Bruce says there needs to be a designated area for buses to park when they are not in use.

“They should have an area for buses to go park somewhere, not taking up valuable land that should be used for carparks.

"They should have an area, where they locate themselves and park.”

As it happens, at Tauranga City Council’s meeting on Monday, April 29, council discussed just that – highlighting the need of a specific bus “layover”.

“We’ve been working with the [Bay of Plenty] regional council to find locations in or near the city centre where layovers can occur off-street,” says TCC team leader of transport development Tom McEntyre.

“We acknowledge that it’s not ideal to have buses parked or idling in the city centre, and we have a long-term agreement with the regional council to reduce the number of layovers in the area.”

The ‘Not in Service’ buses that Bruce porter says stop for hours at a time along Durham St. Photo: supplied.

Tom says council is currently in negotiations to secure a layover location that they expect will hold 10 buses at a time for scheduled breaks and waiting between services.

At Monday’s meeting, the location discussed is the empty site at 199 Cameron Rd.

In response to Bruce witnessing buses parking across carparks outside the courthouse, Tom says new layover locations are being used in the city due to works occurring in the area.

“Having said this, the location you’ve mentioned, is not intended to be occupied by buses and we’ll be reinforcing approved locations with the bus operator through the regional council,” says Tom.

“This potential for confusion will be greatly reduced once the off-street layover space is in use.”

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