Greater Wgtn. pushes for upgrade of Kapiti rail
Greater Wellington is the promotional name of the Wellington Regional Council
Wellington pushes for upgrade of Kapiti rail
27 April 2004
Greater Wellington Regional Council has lodged an application with the Minister of Finance for the upgrade of the Kapiti rail corridor from Paraparaumu to Waikanae.
“The extension of the electrification system from Paraparaumu to Waikanae, and the associated double tracking and new stations, is a fundamental part of the Western Corridor transport plan. With the recent announcement on the costs of the Transmission Gully route this project has taken on even greater importance and urgency”, said Terry McDavitt, Deputy Chairperson of Greater Wellington.
Cnr McDavitt said Greater Wellington has now approached the Minister of Finance, Michael Cullen to push the case for proceeding with the $14 million project at the earliest possible opportunity.
“The Government has budgeted $100 million to upgrade and improve the national track network when it takes over ownership in July this year. The Paraparaumu – Waikanae upgrade is a regional priority that has the full support of Tranz Metro Wellington and all local councils in the region. Greater Wellington has included the electrification project in each of its last five annual plans as a priority work and only the sale of Tranz Rail has stood in the way.”
Councillor McDavitt said that the project has been waiting in the wings for five years while road congestion has deteriorated and there is growing pressure on park and ride facilities at Paraparaumu Railway Station.
Cnr McDavitt says the Kapiti Coast is the fastest growing area in the region and the level of demand was clearly illustrated in recent months when delays on State Highway diverted over 300 extra peak commuters to rail.
“The route north by road is already congested and a more efficient rail system is part of the solution. The Electrification project is part of a package of complimentary measures for the Western Corridor of the Wellington region, which are designed to maintain the balance between road and public transport in the region.