I see in the Pegasus Post (a free community newspaper letterboxed to Christchurch's eastern suburb households) that the City Council has now bought the Burwood-Pegasus Community Board Rooms on the north-east corner of Union Street and Beresford Street in New Brighton (previously leased) and intend to spend $237,000 for a makeover. The purchase price is not revealed ("commercial sensitivity" -yr) but I would imagine the whole deal will cost in excess of $450,000 - I'm no expert, perhaps perhaps a lot more. A possibility reported in the Pegasus Post is of also installing on-site a full time council office, a City Council Service Centre, similar to those operating out of Smith Street Depot in Linwood and Shirley Library at The Palms.
What a high flying wabbit who works in the area sees, (and you can too, Googling up the map for "Beresford Street, Christchurch") however is the unusually wide apron of land on the site facing Beresford Street, firstly beside the building then running onto a wide footpath and then on to a wider still area of landscaped traffic islands and road control devices.
Immediately across the road are three bus shelters and an overhead real time sign, in-stops for buses travelling via routes 5,40,51, 84 and 83 to the central city. This immediate area of Beresford Street would seem to have some real potential for a New Brighton bus station; one that has plenty of room and street layout for bus movements in both directions, sufficient parking opposite beside or in the car-park for an organised bus layover point (with staff room and driver toilet) and is close enough to all things (beach, shops, houses) but not likely to be intrusive. During big events like Guy Fawkes when up to 50,000 people attend festivities the whole roading section in that area could become bus stops, closed off to cars at Oram Ave and Union Street. [Note the size of a bus can be gauged from the extended length bus stop immediately left of the Board room, west of the Union Street intersection, on the Google map]
Two obvious options - remove current in-stops on opposite site of road and instead create a through road on the south side of Beresford Street; and bus lanes in both directions and passenger islands past the Board room on the North side of the road (with a large covered/wind sheltered area and possibly a small glassed off enclosed day time waiting area). Or plan B keep current in stops and re-arrange the street layout to allow buses to drop off passengers or pick up Metrostar, 60 route etc passengers from covered platforms immediately beside the Board Room, with an enhanced walkway across to current in-stops.
In recent times Chrissie Williams, local City Councilor, and Lianne Dalziel, local MP (Labour) have both pushed for a bus station at New Brighton as a priority. While it is hard to see it New Brighton as a major transfer station compared to en route junction points, for instance Westfield or theThe Palms, certainly better shelter from the notorious "fresh" (cold!) nor-easter is needed as is a common terminus, rather than having stops for different routes departing different places.
If the council is spending upto or around half a million on a meeting room, or adding a service centre, this seems an excellent opportunity to put its money where its mouth on the importance of promoting public transport and investigate the cost and viability of creating a bus station building beside or integrated with the Board Room complex.
Opportunity for an attractive design, a multi-faceted, a winter sunny and summer shaded (but definitely all seasons wind protected!!) bus station - and all land already in council possession!
Or is this the cunning plot anyway?