Metro not behind bus stop relocation

A proposal to relocate the bus interchanges in Launceston's St John Street has generated an ongoing debate.
A proposal to relocate the bus interchanges in Launceston's St John Street has generated an ongoing debate.

METRO Tasmania chief executive Heather Haselgrove says the company is not behind plans to relocate Launceston's two main bus stations in St John Street.

In February, Launceston Alderman Hugh McKenzie suggested moving the two Metro Tasmania interchange stations from the central business district to stimulate business.

However, Ms Haselgrove said any move would be detrimental to its patrons and could, in fact, hurt city businesses.

A Cityprom survey of some St John Street businesses earlier this year found that 78 per cent supported moving the stops from the inner-city street.

The council has suggested moving the stops to the Launceston Transit Centre or placing stops further along St John Street.

"Our concern is that proposals to relocate the bus interchange away from the CBD ... could make bus travel less convenient and may deter people from travelling into the city on buses," Ms Haselgrove said.

"Crucial to any decision will be to understand what bus patrons, businesses and the Launceston community actually want, so we agree that broad consultation should be a key element of the City Heart Project and encourage bus passengers and others to make their views known to the council."

Cityprom executive officer Vanessa Cahoon said a taskforce with the Department of Infrastructure, the council, Metro and consultants Pitt and Sherry had been set up to investigate all the options for the city's bus stops.

"Obviously as part of that they will be investigating the feasibility of moving any stops and whether that might be moving just one of the stops," Ms Cahoon said.

"I'd certainly be waiting to see what recommendations come from that and what impact moving any stops would have on the community."

Ms Cahoon said she expected some recommendations to be brought forward in coming months.

•Northern Tasmanian Metro bus services are being reviewed over the next three years in a bid to streamline and tailor services to the community's needs, with the statewide overhaul already under way in Hobart.

Many schedules and routes with low patronage could be cut.


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