As signalled in its Long Term Plan, 2012-22, Taupo District Council is reviewing options for assets in the District to reduce the projected debt over the next ten years. One such asset is the property at Gascoigne Street which is currently leased.
As part of an on-going asset review, Council staff identified that the nature of transport operations are evolving and the potential for financial returns from Gascoigne Street as a bus depot is limited. Based on the review, and following thoughtful consideration of several options, Council has resolved to consolidate bus services to Tongariro Street (outside the Taup? i-SITE) once the Gascoigne Street property is sold, which could take up to a year.
The staff review of transport operations showed the majority of bus spaces in Taup? are currently located in the Tongariro Street area and that the spaces are used by tour operators and regional bus services, leaving one operator at the Gascoigne Street location.
The review showed that the existing bus parking location on Tongariro Street is the preferred location as it is already used by two of the three key providers. Other advantages include its accessibility and proximity to shelter, visitor information and ticketing, CBD retailers, public toilets, transportation links, accommodation and car parking.
No changes will occur until the Gascoigne Street property is sold. The initial concept plan shows that the only proposed change to the area is the alteration of road markings (parking lines) and a modest extension of the current bus shelter beside the footpath to protect passengers from the weather.
Strategic Manager, Business Development, Will Samuel, says the move to consolidate would free up Gascoigne Street to allow for its sale. "The move is in line with Council's desire to use its assets more efficiently." He says: "Having the buses operate out of a single location will provide a better experience for travellers."
In September 2011, Council staff undertook a preliminary review of bus movements at Gascoigne Street and Tongariro Street. During a Tuesday 13 December Council meeting, Councillors considered four possible areas for combined transport including the existing location of Gascoigne Street, Tongariro Street, Heuheu Street (adjacent to the BP car park) and Tuwharetoa Street.
Over the past year, subsequent research into the appropriate service levels and space requirements identified the suitability of Tongariro Street location. Council will continue to work with all interested parties to ensure that the process is open.
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