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Published: 2007-07-30 00:00:00

Nearly 120 submissions have been received on Environment Waikato’s Draft Regional Passenger Transport Plan, with the majority of submitters commenting on the proposed new Hamilton bus routes.

Environment Waikato’s land transport operations programme manager Russell Turnbull said the submitters’ comments on bus routes were being studied closely by staff and would also be considered during next month’s hearings into the plan.
“The new routes have sparked a lot of interest and will please many but we’re also aware that some commuters are disappointed where their street has been taken off the bus route, as we look to straighten and expand the services we offer. We’ll have to weigh up carefully the impact of the changes on communities before we make final decisions,” Mr Turnbull said.    
Of the 118 submissions on the plan, 95 were from individuals, three were from Waikato councils and two were from Government agencies. Just under 100 submissions came from Hamilton people or organizations - Hamilton is where the bulk of the region’s bus services operate.
But the submissions have also seen requests for more buses in other parts of the region, including improvements to Te Awamutu services, buses to the airport and a Gordonton to Hamilton service.
Thirty-eight of the submitters have asked to be heard by the hearings committee.
The hearings are due to get underway on Tuesday 7 August at Environment Waikato’s Hamilton East offices in Grey St. They will continue on 8, 9 and 10 August as required.
The hearings committee will involve Environment Waikato councillors Angus Macdonald and Paula Southgate, Hamilton City councillor Dave Macpherson, and Taupo District councillor Andrew Welch.
“It’s really pleasing to see the level of submissions and the numbers who want to appear before the hearings committee,” said Mr Turnbull.
“Improving passenger transport is a key issue for Hamilton, and the wider region, and we’re very keen to get a wide range of opinion over how we should proceed.”