Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Disuse of Auckland Rail Line a ‘Bloody Shambles’ Say Locals

Disuse of rail line a ‘Bloody Shambles’ say locals in Auckland growth area

Sunday 23 July 2017 - The disuse of existing rail infrastructure in growing North West Auckland was labelled ‘a bloody shambles’ by members of the audience at the Helensville electorate ‘Trains to Huapai’ candidates’ debate today, Sunday 23 July.

Frustrations expressed by the audience about the absence of train services to the Kumeu, Waitakere and wider areas included increased costs and reduced access to key destinations, not just to get to work, but for education and shopping.

Election candidates across the board, responded by acknowledging the economic and social benefits of better public transport. Though unified in agreement on the value of public transport to the area, candidates differed in how they saw the solutions.

Chris Penk, the National Party candidate replacing John Key, said he would give rail his full attention, supporting a ‘first solution is the best’ approach. He argued that the rail network is already here, we should use it, with diesel shuttles in the first instance, and working towards electrification.

Helen Peterson representing New Zealand First, said her party’s policy is to support rail and that train services to Huapai should be part of an integrated network of buses and trains. “People prefer trains”, she reflected, and they also have clear access benefits for those on bikes or with disabilities.

The Labour Party is Kurt Taogaga, who said from his time growing up in Helensville he knows it’s a ‘public transport sinkhole’. He said he supports diesel rail services in the short term and that Labour wants to bring forward the development of a North Western Busway.

The Green Party’s Hayley Holt said her party support more buses, more frequently along a North Western busway which could eventually be a light rail system.

The Trains to Huapai campaign sought support from candidates for the proposal to run diesel shuttle services on the existing line, between Huapai and Swanson or Henderson.

Christine Rose, Chair of the Public Transport Users Association, and local resident, says despite shouldering massive growth, the area’s opportunities for the use of rail, are neglected. “Passenger rail here makes sense in so many ways – it provides capacity that’s not available within the crippled roading network, it efficiently uses existing infrastructure, and minimises ratepayer spend. It’s comfortable and quicker than bus to key destinations”.

Jon Reeves, co-ordinator of the Public Transport Users Association said the public were asking where were the Mayor, the Chair of Auckland Transport, and the Minister of Transport, “as they needed to be held accountable”. “We all want the council, the government and AT to be accountable for their failure to plan for and serve the area’s growth”.

Mrs Rose says locals are angry that Special Housing Areas of thousands of new homes have been forced upon the area. “We’ve got a railway line right there, and spare diesel trains”. “But in every transport funding announcement, whether its new battery trains for Pukekohe or a station in Drury, Huapai-Kumeu is ignored”.

Speaking in favour of the Trains to Huapai initiative, Chair of the North West District Business Association, Gary Holmes, said trains will facilitate the local tourism industry in a sustainable way, as well as providing access to the area for workers.

Local Board quote about we shouldn’t have to wait so long?

The Trains to Huapai campaigners say they elicited pledges of firm support for Trains to Huapai from the National, Labour and NZ First candidates, and a large turnout from the community on a cold winter’s day, giving them confidence in the proposal for the future.

For more information see:

http://www.trainstohuapai.org/

https://www.facebook.com/trainstohuapai/


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election