Christchurch Argues Over Bus Lanes


buslaneIn Auckland, we don’t bat an eyelid at bus lanes or bus priority traffic light signals – apart from a few motorists who grumble about buses taking over the road.

So it’s fascinating to see Christchurch still having a debate about them.

The  Christchurch City Council plans bus lanes and other public transport improvements on the Colombo Street south route.

The local regional council, Environment Canterbury, which like the ARC, plans and funds Christchurch’s Metro services , strongly supports the plan.

Shopkeepers continue to tell the local media they’ll go broke, saying that their businesses will suffer  because of a loss of business -  the Colombo Street route alone loses over 250 parking spaces to make way for those dreadful bus lanes.

If you don’t know the city, the Colombo St south route is a key city arterial and includes the frequently congested southbound section between Moorhouse Avenue and Brougham St, Sydenham.

At peak times, buses can average speeds as low as 16 km/hr on Colombo Street, with even lower speeds in some places. These plans have been in the pipeline for a number of years and are part of a city-wide strategy to speed up bus journeys and make times more reliable.

Sound familiar? Yes to Aucklanders and it’s fascinating to at last discover something we’re doing in transport in Auckland that is ahead of some other places.

The Christchurch City Council introduced similar measures on Papanui Road recently.

Cr Carole Evans, who chairs the regional council’s public passenger transport has a message for the moaning business people and motorists:  “Whilst I can appreciate the Sydenham business owners’ concerns, we are in changing times, and there is now a need to strike a balance between on street parking convenience for a few, and keeping our main arterial roads moving at rush hour. Otherwise, our roads will grind to a halt and our city as a whole will really suffer. I understand the City Council is providing extra parking nearby as compensation, and this seems a fair compromise.”

Exactly. I’m glad the council is going ahead with it and I look forward to hearing that,  as well, the local police there do a good job in towing cars away from bus lanes there, when they come into operation.




  1. JVS says:

    Bah! typical southern attitude to change.
    I do remember my first trip up north, and the idea of a bus lane or clearway was the craziest thing I’d ever heard.
    until seeing them in action…

  2. lukemckay says:

    why do we need bus lanes?


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