The Board had been fighting a rear-guard action to try and force Auckland Transport to keep the service. In March the Board made the following resolutions:
Resolution number WHK/2014/76
c) Notes that it does not support the reduction of any commuter or bus services on the island including that along Seaview Road.
d) Requests that Auckland Transport conduct a campaign to promote usage of the
bus route along Seaview Road followed by survey in six months prior to any
consideration of service reduction.
There are well documented reasons in the Auckland Transport report on the agenda for removing the Seaview Rd service.
The road is the most dangerous on the island. I know this from being Transport Spokesperson on the last Board and reading the police accident statistics over several years. It is dangerous because it’s narrow, steep, winding and difficult for commercial buses to negotiate safely. The bus drivers regularly have near misses and occasionally have accidents because of the difficult terrain. In addition, few passengers use the service rendering it uneconomic. Note that the Board wanted to waste even more of your money by firstly delaying the decision leading to more losses, and secondly running a publicity campaign. The decision to close the route makes sense on both safety and economic grounds.
Contrast this with the minutes of the meeting, the only documentation we have of the reasons for the Board’s decisions. Put simply, there are no reasons given for the Board’s request to keep the service, neither in March nor again at the end of May. The only conclusion the public can reach is that the Board does not give a toss about the safety of passengers, drivers and other road users. Nor does it care about wasting ratepayer’s money on uneconomic services.
Perhaps the reality of their role is now sinking in. The Board has only limited delegations to take action. This is especially so over transport matters where it can advocate to Auckland Transport but it cannot make decisions. This will disappoint their supporters, especially those who live on Seaview Rd, who must have thought their Board could deliver anything they wanted. How wrong can you be.