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Response to community feedback on railway crossing

Transport Committee responds to community feedback on railway crossing

The level railway crossing at George Street will stay open after current work to double track the rail line are completed, if Auckland City’s Transport Committee gets its way.

Auckland City’s Transport Committee chairperson Councillor Greg McKeown said that the committee supports keeping the George Street crossing open until plans to address a range of traffic issues in the area are addressed.

“At the committee’s request community consultation has been undertaken. This, along with the effort of several community representatives detailing their concerns and possible solutions has been useful to the committee and council officers,” said Mr McKeown. “Everyone is generally supportive of developing Auckland’s rail system, but this case shows that regional bodies and implementers must work closely with local councils.

“Feedback from the community made it clear that the George Street connection between Dominion and New North roads is a well-used link for locals and others and that using the proposed alternative routes, including the already busy intersections on Dominion and Sandringham roads, would be difficult.”

Auckland City undertook consultation on the proposed closure in April this year, after the crossing was forced to close to allow the first stage of construction for double tracking the western rail line.

The committee raised the need for thorough consultation as the region’s rail business plan gets rolled out.

“There have been so many delays that most people are just pleased to see the work finally happening. But consultation needs to happen and the costs of possible road closures, in terms of providing alternative road connections where appropriate, need to be recognised and equitably funded,” says Mr McKeown.

“We understand the views presented by the community and their concerns about the proposed permanent closure of the George Street crossing,” says Mr McKeown. “Council will be looking at the options to improve access, traffic mobility and limit inconvenience to people and businesses in the area. We are also concerned that as train frequency increases there may be safety issues, and that needs to be taken into account.”

As a result of the feedback, Auckland City will review traffic conditions in the area, including parking restrictions, and the intersections of Dominion and New North roads, and Walters and Sandringham roads.

The review’s findings will be reported to the Transport Committee in August 2004.

The decision to close the George Street railway crossing rests with Toll Consolidated NZ, formerly Tranz Rail.

Auckland City will forward the consultation outcomes to Toll Consolidated NZ.

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