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Locke, local candidates action on public transport

Locke and local candidates took action on public transport

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FOR SCOOP – press release and see pictures attached – thanks! Kim

Locke and local candidates took action on public transport

Auckland Green MP Keith Locke and Green members joined several local body candidates for an action to demonstrate the need for better connection between rail and bus services in Otahuhu, one day ahead of World Car-Free day Sat 22 Sept.

The candidates include Labour Councillor Richard Northey, Regional People candidate for the Auckland Regional Council, Maire Leadbeater, and City Vision candidates in Auckland City, Donna Wynd and Graeme Easte.

"The action sought to highlight a key public transport ‘black spot’ and what needs to be done by the incoming councils, and how central Government can help," Mr Locke, the Greens’ Spokesperson on Auckland Transport issues, said.

“We gathered at the Otahuhu Railway Station at 10.15am to walk the 1.2 kilometre to the bus station, to show the difficulty faced by people transferring between buses and trains at this key junction in the Auckland transport network. Previously the Green Party focussed on getting a decision to electrify the Auckland rail network, which was successful. Now we are turning our attention to transport hubs.

Keith Locke said:

“Previous Green campaigns have focused on electrifying the Auckland rail network and integrated ticketing for buses and trains. Now that these are on their way we are turning our attention to transport hubs.

The Green Party intends to follow this action with a ‘Get Connected’ campaign focussing attention on major transport junctions and investments, with a total cost of approaching $2 billion, currently being planned for Newmarket, Onehunga, Panmure and Manukau City. These major projects are an opportunity to develop integrated bus/train transfer stations, park-and-ride facilities and cycle-and-ride facilities at key junctions on the transport network. Failing to make these connections would be a lost opportunity and a misinvestment of public money.”

“We are also drawing attention to other junctions, such as Otahuhu, Penrose and Avondale, where the rail and bus networks ought to be connected, but no investment has yet been proposed.”

“There are good examples where the connections have been made, such as the park-and-ride bus station at Albany, and where they are being planned, such as New Lynn. Integrated transport hubs must also be developed at other strategic points.”

A dozen people took part, ranging in age from those in their late 60s to a 3 year old child in a push chair. It included two dogs and a man carrying luggage! They walked from the station to the Otahuhu Bus Centre - over 15 minutes walk - and some of us went back to Auckland City on the bus. Clearly there needs to be a whole new plan to improve rail/bus links at Otahuhu. The present station and its container backdrop are distinctly unappealing. The Auckland Growth Strategy projects high density residential developments around rail stations, but these are a long way off for Otahuhu. An interim step could be starting some of the bus services from the train station, connecting with incoming trains, which are now much more frequent.


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