A Rotorua community has vowed to improve behaviour which led to bus services being pulled out of fears for the safety of passengers and drivers.

Bus services will return to Wrigley Rd after a "massive turn out" at a meeting between Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Fordlands community.

Services will resume from Monday after the public hui on Wednesday resulted in all parties committing to working together to resolve issues which had caused the service to be temporarily re-routed.

The Rotorua Cityride bus service has bypassed Wrigley Rd in Fordlands since August 28, after a "series of incidents" threatened the safety of drivers and passengers.

Advertisement

Fordlands Community Association chairwoman Petrina Marsh said they had a massive turnout at the community meeting.

"There were some great outcomes and we're looking forward to working with outside agencies to work with some of the youth in our community to tackle the issue.

"We were pleased with how many people wanted to be part of the solution, from youth to kaumatua and had a good turnout from our elderly and representatives from the gangs."

The large attendance of community members all supported the return of the Route 04 bus service including Bay of Plenty regional councillor Lyall Thurston who voiced his desire to work collaboratively to see the bus route reinstated.

"We are eager to see this resolved quickly, but we need confidence that both drivers and passengers are safe.

"Public transport is vital to this community, as people in this suburb have limited transport options.

Related articles:

ROTORUA DAILY POST
15 Sep, 2018 2:04pm
2 minutes to read
ROTORUA DAILY POST
24 Sep, 2018 1:26pm
3 minutes to read

"It is our priority to work with the community and we have agreed to address the current situation with urgency."

Route 04 travels through Fordlands and along Wrigley Rd, but was re-routed straight along Sunset Rd, after a series of incidents left a bus driver injured.

The attackers were identified as children - one as young as 8.

A number of different proposed solutions were raised, including a commitment for the community to work with the offending youths to get them off the street and back into education.

Māori wardens offered to have a presence on buses over the coming weeks as well as increased police patrol in the area.

Thurston said the community provided reassurance at the public meeting, the council considered the options, finding the most favourable to be reinstating the service along Wrigley Rd.

"The community has taken ownership of the issue and we have assured them that we will support this 100 per cent.

"To achieve this we will be working with the Fordlands Community Centre, local police officers and the Māori Wardens and confirming their support of our efforts."

The council said reinstating the service would require the continued support of the community and local authorities.

Once the council has confirmed the proposed actions will be met, a recommendation will be put forward for the bus service to return along Wrigley Rd effective Monday, October 1.

Rotorua police are supporting the council, the bus service and the community towards a resolution.

Area commander Anaru Pewhairangi said police had received reports of antisocial behaviour on the Fordlands bus route, along with one report of an assault.

"Police is committed to working with our partners, including the council and the bus service, so all members of the community can feel safe and be safe as they go about their daily lives.

"Police would encourage people to remember they can help, and this is a community issue that requires a community response."

Anyone who witnessed or experienced any such behaviour was encouraged to get in touch with police.