McKenzie's push to relocate city bus stops

A LAUNCESTON alderman is hoping to spark discussion about the location of bus stops in the city.

Alderman Hugh McKenzie said moving major bus stops from St John Street had the potential to stimulate business in Launceston.

``With transit areas in the city, shops are probably reticent to open up here and some shops have moved,'' he said.

``I've called on CityProm to look at the most appropriate use of the streetscape.''

Bus stops for suburbs including Mowbray, Newnham, Prospect, Kings Meadows and East Launceston are located along the inner-city street.

York Street, which adjoins St John Street, is Metro Tasmania's secondary interchange zone.

Alderman McKenzie, who labels himself passionate about the revitalisation of Launceston's CBD, said he had talked with one shop owner having difficulties leasing their business because of the St John Street stops.

He said he had been contacted by Frank Knight director Rob Dixon, who was concerned some multi-national companies resisted moving into the city because of the stops.

Alderman McKenzie said similar problems with transport interchanges had been experienced nationally and did not relate to anti-social behaviour in Launceston.

He said moving them just 500 metres down the road had the potential to regenerate business.

``It's a good opportunity to have a discussion - identify it, get feedback from people and potentially deal with it.''

Alderman McKenzie said interactions would most likely be between the Launceston City Council, businesses, bus users and Metro Tasmania.

Draft recommendations from Launceston City Council's  Greater Launceston Plan   included retaining the St John Street bus stop as the primary public transport interchange within the area.

It also suggested providing ``high quality pedestrian waiting facilities'' at the stop, including improved shelter and real-time passenger information.

Alderman McKenzie said community feedback was important for a ``reality review''.

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