Special buses head for Raglan beaches

Beachgoers can take advantage of summer holiday bus services to Raglan and return this year.

Special Sunday and public holiday bus services will be operating over the Christmas and New Year period.

Hamilton to Raglan and Manu Bay special service will run on Sunday, December 23 and 30 and then New Year's Day  January 2, 6, 13, 20, 27, Anniversary Day (January 28), 3 February 3, with Waitangi Day (February 6) the last day of operation of the special service.

Buses will depart from Transport Centre (Anglesea St) at 10 am, arriving at Raglan at 11am and Manu Bay at 11.10am.

The return bus will leave Manu Bay at 4.20pm, and then Raglan at 4:30pm arriving at the transport centre at 5:30pm.

Standard Busit fares and Supergold cards will be available on this service.

Full details of the summer services are available on www.busit.co.nz

Waikato Regional Council's policy and transport group manager Vaughan Payne

said extensive work has gone into ensuring the Raglan community has the best bus service, within budget.

At community meetings in Raglan and Whatawhata earlier this year it was made clear that the priority had to be ensuring adequate peak services for commuters, and especially children travelling to and from school.

"With no extra funding available, we had to make a number of changes including the withdrawal of the Sunday service. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but it was going to impact the fewest number of people," Mr Payne said.

Figures for 2011/12 show just under 65,000 passenger trips on the Raglan service, with only 5000 (8 per cent) travelling on the weekends - the majority on Saturdays.

"We understand that not everybody has been happy with our decision to withdraw the Sunday service. But the money has to be spent where there is the greatest demand - and that is clearly on the peak services during school terms."

A Whatawhata trial service, which has been operating on school days since the end of May, has helped to alleviate pressure on Raglan's peak services. Its last day of operation this year will be  December 14 and it will resume operating during school terms on January 29.

- Hamilton News

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