Good News For North Shore Ferry Travellers
Good news for North Shore ferry travellers'
North Shore City's Mayor, George Wood, says Infrastructure Auckland's decision to grant up to $32.3m to the Auckland Region's ferry wharves project is great news for North Shore commuters.
The grant will enable North Shore City to move ahead with plans to buy the Ports of Auckland ferry wharves up for sale (Devonport Commercial Wharf, Devonport Cargo Wharf, Northcote land and jetty and Birkenhead). "We will work with other councils in the region to significantly upgrade and develop them, along with the three wharves we currently own," says Mayor Wood.
The regional ferry project will see a new face to ferry wharves on the Waitemata Harbour, linking all North Shore City's ferry wharves to Downtown Auckland, and to Half Moon Bay in the east and potentially with Hobsonville in the west.
Work should start in July this year, says Mayor Wood. Improvements will include additional berths on some wharves, improved access, shelter, lighting, boarding facilities and information systems.
"One of our first projects will be to add covered access to downtown facilities and extend those at Devonport. There will also be additional berths put in to allow faster turnaround and more services to use the Auckland Downtown ferry wharf," says Mayor Wood.
Other North Shore wharves will be maintained, expanded and developed progressively, including Birkenhead, Northcote, Beach Haven and Bayswater.
"There is a lot of potential for growing the number of ferry travellers but we need to improve the wharves and the quality of the service on offer. It's crucial that we make the best use of the harbour and our ferry wharf assets as part of creating an integrated regional transport network," he says.
"Improving ferry services is vital for the future development of our city. This project will complement North Shore's busway and bus priority initiatives which are all aimed at encouraging public transport use and making ferries and buses attractive and viable travel options."
Mayor Wood says Auckland Regional Transport Network Ltd (ARTNL) will develop and manage the project for the region. This includes all North Shore ferry wharves and would enable an integrated network approach, he says.
Mayor Wood says the funding for the ferry project is a further significant step in progressing towards an integrated public transport system for Auckland.