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Published: 2012-11-05 00:00:00

Having fun in the sun at Raglan will be easier this summer with special Sunday and public holiday bus service operating over the Christmas and New Year period.

The Hamilton to Raglan and Manu Bay special service will run on the following days Sunday 23 and 30 December, and then New Years Day 1 January , the 2nd, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th of January , Anniversary Day 28 January, 3 February, with Waitangi Day 6 February being the last day of operation of the special bus service.

The bus will depart from Transport Centre (Anglesea Street) at 10 am, arriving at Raglan at 11am and then Manu Bay at 11.10am.

The return bus will leave Manu Bay at 4.20pm, and then Raglan at 4:30pm arriving outside the transport centre at 5:30pm.

Standard Busit fares and Supergold cards will be available on this service.

Full details of the summer services are available by visiting www.busit.co.nz.

Waikato Regional Council’s policy and transport group manager Vaughan Payne said: “The summer service will give people in Hamilton a chance to enjoy a relaxed day by the seaside in Raglan.

“The weather forecasters are predicting good weather for us this summer and so our Sunday, New Year holiday and Anniversary Weekend services will give people a chance to enjoy the sun at the beach.”

Mr Payne said extensive work has gone into ensuring the Raglan community has the best bus service, within budget.

At community meetings in Raglan and Whatawhata earlier this year it was made clear that the priority had to be ensuring adequate peak services for commuters, and especially children travelling to and from school.

“With no extra funding available, we had to make a number of changes including the withdrawal of the Sunday service. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was going to impact the fewest number of people,” Mr Payne said.

Figures for 2011/12 show just under 65,000 passenger trips on the Raglan service, with only 5000 (8 per cent) travelling on the weekends – the majority on Saturdays.

“We understand that not everybody has been happy with our decision to withdraw the Sunday service. But the money has to be spent where there is the greatest demand – and that is clearly on the peak services during school terms.”

A Whatawhata trial service, which has been operating on school days since the end of May, has helped to alleviate pressure on Raglan’s peak services. Its last day of operation this year will be 14 December and it will resume operating during school terms on 29 January 2013.

To find out more about BUSIT’s services and fares, visit www.busit.co.nz.