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Published: 2015-12-11 00:00:00

The popular Cathedral Cove park and ride shuttle will be operating again over the busy 2015/16 summer holiday season.

Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) have joined with the Mercury Bay Community Board to again provide the park and ride service over December and January, as well as during the Waitangi Day long weekend.

“This shuttle helps to relieve traffic congestion in one of the region’s favourite holiday destinations, as well as improving the safety for pedestrians and other road users,” said regional council public transport operations manager, Andrew Wilson.

“The shuttle is extremely popular. Last summer we carried more than 30,000 people up the hill from Hahei to the start of the Cathedral Cove walking track – that’s 10,000 more than the previous year,” he said.

The service starts on Sunday, 27 December and runs every day until Monday, 1 February, and then again over the Waitangi Day long weekend (6-8 February 2016).

The shuttle will operate from 10am to 6pm daily, departing every 20 minutes from the purpose-built car park on Hahei Beach Road.

Mercury Bay Community Board chairperson Paul Kelly said: “We're so pleased to be working with the regional council to provide the shuttle this year. We realise we need to look at how we manage the growing number of visitors within this area and that traffic and parking need managing.”

Alan Tiplady, TCDC Mercury Bay area manager, added: “For the safety of other road users and locals living along Grange Road and neighbouring streets, visitors are strongly urged to use the Hahei Beach Road car park. Parking up the hill creates dangerous obstacles and blocks access to residential properties.”

This year parking attendants will be working in the Hahei Beach Road car park, as well as at the top of the hill to help motorists with parking and boarding the shuttles.

Return park and ride shuttle fares are: $5 adults, $3 children for children up to 15 years, $10 families (up to 2 adults and 2 children). 

For more information on the services, including detailed timetables, visit www.busit.co.nz or call 0800 4 BUSLINE (0800 4 2875463).