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Northern Suburbs Passenger Transport Services

15 August 2005

Northern Suburbs Passenger Transport Services Study

A better deal for public transport users from the northern suburbs is at last on the horizon, with the announcement of a Northern Suburbs Passenger Transport Services Study.

Cr Glen Evans Chair Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Public Transport Committee says while the Johnsonville rail line has been the subject of much discussion over the years, partly due to the age of the current rolling stock, this study will be much wider.

He says this study will not affect the bus route review of Newlands, Grenada Village, Paparangi and Woodridge which is due to be implemented by Greater Wellington and Newlands Coach Services at the end of October - full details of those route and timetable changes will be notified to affected residents in the next month.

“The investigation will provide a clear vision on how best to improve both bus and rail transport options to give northern suburbs public transport users a better deal.”

The recent Rail Business Case provided sound justification for the retention of existing rail services in the Wellington region to meet the requirements of the (then) national funding agency Transfund New Zealand, Cr Evans says.

“In the case of the Johnsonville line, the Rail Business Case justified a three year light refurbishment of the existing operation until further studies could be undertaken. The Northern Suburbs Passenger Transport Services Study is the very investigation that will determine the optimal passenger transport operation in Wellington’s northern suburbs in the context of the City Council’s growth aspirations for north Wellington, and south into the Central Business District (CBD).”

The study will be jointly convened by Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington City Council, with funding from both and Land Transport New Zealand.
Mayor Kerry Prendergast says the review will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fundamentally review public transport services in the area before the next phase of investment that will decide the shape of transport services for many years to come.

“We are also looking to ensure that the transport solution chosen will meet the long-term development vision of the city. To achieve this will require creativity and the ability to look beyond the status quo.

“Our ultimate aim is to provide better access for residents of these suburbs to and through the city. We are looking forward to healthy public debate on how to achieve this.”

The area to be covered by the study is bounded by Churton Park and Grenada Village in the North, Woodridge and Newlands in the East, Johnsonville in the West and follows the Johnsonville rail line to the CBD. The area is currently serviced by a mix of rail and bus services. Tawa, which is serviced by a different public transport corridor (the Western Corridor), is not included in the Study.

ENDS

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