Darfield and Leeston to get bus service

by Mike Isle

Following what it describes as overwhelmingly positive feedback from local residents, Environment Canterbury has announced that trial commuter bus services for Darfield and Leeston will begin from Monday, January 28.

Environment Canterbury senior manager public transport Stewart Gibbon said he was pleased with the response to the proposed services.

“We needed to know if the Darfield and Leeston communities agreed with us that there was a need for a service like this and if they were prepared to support it.”

Two hundred submissions were received for the Leeston survey, with 96% of respondents claiming that they, or someone in their household, would use the service. One hundred and eighty-nine submissions were received for the Darfield survey, with more than 93% stating that they, or someone in their household, would use the service.

More than 50% of respondents to both surveys said they would use the services at least twice a week.
“We also asked for input on desired pick-up and drop-off locations, as well as on the times for the service to run. This feedback has enabled us to plan the two routes and schedules for the services in a way that will best suit each individual community,” said Gibbon.

Selwyn mayor Sam Broughton said the new services would be a boost for the townships. “It was great to have so many people support the proposal for a trial.”

“These buses will provide a valuable sustainable transport option for people working in the city, and I encourage local residents to make good use of the routes during this trial period, so they become a permanent subsidised service.”

Each service will run one trip in the mornings to Christchurch, and one trip back in the afternoons, Monday to Friday.

The 86 Darfield service will travel via Kirwee, West Melton, Westfield Riccarton to the central city. The 87 Leeston service will travel via Doyleston, Irwell, Springston, The Hub Hornby, Westfield Riccarton to the central city.

The new routes will be running on a trial basis in the coming months, during which time the performance of the services will be monitored.