Mahurangi Matters, 11 April 2022 – Readers Letters

Empty buses

We have written before about the ludicrous situation we have in the area with virtually empty buses running backwards and forwards to Warkworth, Matakana, Point Wells and so on.

It’s a source of great irritation to ourselves and other ratepayers to see this gross waste of our money.

Surely there must be a better way than this to make sure the few who don’t have private transport, or neighbours who are happy to transport them, can get where they want to go.

What about surveying the buses for a week to see who, if any, use them and why, and then perhaps look at issuing cut-price taxi passes to them.

We estimate that running the current bus service must be costing at least $2000 to $3000 per week, so the cost of the taxi passes would be a pittance by comparison.

It’s high time for some lateral thinking on this matter. Find something more worthwhile to spend this money on.

John and Barbara Maltby, Point Wells

AT out of touch

If anyone needed any further proof of the ineptness of SuperCity, they would only have to consider AT’s latest proposal to implement a busway/no parking zone on Matakana Road from Warkworth to Sharp Road. The justification for this proposal is to free up access and prioritise use of the roadway for buses, on the principle that the bus patronage numbers do or will, exceed the number of roadside parking users, and therefore should take priority.

The logic behind the proposal for a no parking zone between Warkworth and Matakana is absolute bureaucratic madness – possibly the creation of a recently graduated uni planning student who resides in Auckland Central, someone who has absolutely no appreciation of the fact that there is currently no formed roadside parking on the rural roadway and who, similarly, has no appreciation that there is no justification for the continuation of the oversized buses on this route, spewing tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere to support a philosophy of, “If you build it they will come” They built it, no-one came!
The buses on this route to Omaha have been operating for a number of years, funded by a transport tax imposed upon local ratepayers. As a tradie working in the area I regularly pass and follow these blue monsters hosting a driver plus 60 empty seats … at max, seating one or two visitors to and from Matakana. Never once have I seen anywhere near enough passengers to justify the tax pilfered to fund the service.

Surely, with patronage potential now proven, someone at AT might consider that a bus route to Omaha is a little crazy. Here we have one of the most elite beachside suburbs in the country, holiday castles in the white sand accessed by people with big wallets and even bigger egos, people who would rather be seen dead than in a AT bus. The potential for them to evolve into a group that will patronise AT buses is about zero.

But once again, we have a public service entity and disconnected planners dictate a money wasting policy to the people that it is meant to serve. AT, a bad joke imposed by Rodney upon Rodney ratepayers.

John Griffin, Sandspit