Disabled user raises concerns


Varying views on bus hub

Concerns over consultation and location of the bus hub have been raised by some disabled bus advocates, but others say the process has been “OK”.
Dunedin resident and disabled bus user Julie Adamson raised concerns over the short consultation period in December, especially just before Christmas, and the fact the discussion was around the look of the hub, rather than the location.
She said the proximity of the George St bus stops to the Meridian mall, the library and other public facilities made access “a lot easier” for older or disabled bus users than having the hub on Great King St.
“Even only that block down is a long distance.”
Mrs Adamson had also been concerned that the week-long drop-in centre and 18-day submission period had not been long enough and that it was only over the design of the hub, rather than its location.
She said she had not put in a submission against the hub proposal, as she thought it was just about the design of the hub, rather than whether or not it was wanted.
“It was as if you couldn’t say anything against it.”
Otago Regional Council support services manager Gerard Collings said disabled accessibility to the hub was “key” and council had consulted various disability advocates in the initial planning.
“[It is] very important to council.”
Disabled Persons Assembly kaituitui (community development worker) Chris Ford said he had been in consultation with the regional council before the announcement of the proposed hub.
He said the hub needed to be “fully accessible and inclusive” to disabled and elderly bus users, with good kerb height for people getting on and off buses, enough space at bus shelters for wheelchair users and audio announcements for blind or visually impaired passengers.
While the DPA had not put in an official submission during the consultation process, as Mr Ford had been on leave, he was happy “so far” with the process.
He said while the DPA was “OK” with the location of the hub, he did “appreciate the concerns” of some disabled bus users.
Disability Information Service manager Debbie Webster said her concerns were more around the short consultation period and whether people had had the chance to properly raise their questions.
Mr Ford said the ORC had explained to him that the short time frame was so it could get on to the project sooner.