News | 23 December 2016

Work under way to prepare for new buses

Work planned on Newtown shop verandas over the next few weeks is part of readying the city for the larger new buses due to take to the city’s streets in 2018.

Wellington City Council Public Transport, Cycling and Walking Portfolio Leader Councillor Sarah Free says a number of small changes are being gradually carried out round the city to accommodate higher capacity and double-decker buses that Greater Wellington Regional Council plans to use on some routes.

The changes, which the regional council is paying for, include slightly reducing the width of some of the shop verandas in Riddiford Street between Green and Wilson streets to prevent higher vehicles coming into contact with them.  

The work is planned between 28 December and mid-January and involves trimming about half a metre off verandas in this area that extend out to the kerb.

Cr Free says any disruption should be minor and temporary and buses will continue to pick up and drop off passengers in this location.

“The immediate benefit should be an improved service for passengers as buses will be able to pull up closer to the kerb.”

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Transport Strategy and Operations says the work is a necessary precursor for public transport improvements on this busy route. As well as more leeway for buses, the end result will be an even and well-finished line of verandas that will enhance the streetscape.

“We’re doing the work required here over the holiday period while things are quiet to minimise the impact on the public and local businesses,” he says. “Contractors will work from mobile scaffolding and complete the job in sections starting on the eastern side. We don’t expect it to be too disruptive.”

People will still be able to use the footpaths on both sides of the street at all times and access all businesses. The scaffolding and temporary safety fencing will be removed at the end of each day.

Work is also planned around the bus stop on the south side of Brandon Street in the central city in January so future larger buses will be able to use the street when required.

The work is planned to start on 9 January and take about three weeks. The footpath near the bus stop will be widened by about half a metre, which will provide the necessary clearance between the road and the shop verandas in this location.