24 Jun 2014

Construction of bus interchange to start

3:48 pm on 24 June 2014

Construction on a $53 million bus interchange in central Christchurch is due to begin next month.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the facility would be built on a 14,000 square metre block bounded by Sol Square, Tuam, Colombo and Lichfield streets.

He said its location meant almost any point in the new central business district would be no more than a five-minute walk.

Mr Brownlee said with an inner-city speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour, walking or cycling to work after arriving into the city by bus was going to be a much more attractive prospect.

The structure is expected to become visible by October this year and the facility operational by winter 2015.

A 2008 picture of traffic, including buses, on Colombo Street prior to the earthquakes of 2010 - 2011.

A 2008 picture of traffic, including buses, on Colombo Street prior to the earthquakes of 2010 - 2011. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Calls for single public transport agency

There are calls for Christchurch to have a single agency in charge of public transport in the city like Auckland has, rather than the current three.

The chair of Christchurch's largest bus operator says there should be one agency in charge of public transport in the city.

Auckland Council has one agency overseeing its entire network but Christchurch has three organisations.

Currently the Christchurch City Council builds the bus stops, the Regional Council plans timetables and the Transport Agency provides funding.

Chair of the City Council-owned Red Bus, Peter Rae said it means it takes too long to get decisions made.

He said decisions need to be made based on what customers want and at the moment there are too many buses and too few passengers.