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SHA solution at fingertips of Auckland Council

Tuesday 5th May 2015

SHA solution at fingertips of Auckland Council

With increasing debate taking place around the granting of consent to SHA’s in North West Auckland, Auckland Council is failing to utilize a most obvious asset – one that will enable the growing communities of Huapai and Kumeu to keep moving.

The Public Transport Users Association is concerned that the management of Auckland Transport are effectively reducing West Auckland rail services, through retrenchment of commuter services from Waitakere Township to Swanson, at a time when they are sorely needed. Jon Reeves, Co-ordinator of the PTUA, says “Auckland Transport is oddly promoting axing Waitakere station from mid-July and refusing to promote an extension of rail services to Huapai and Kumeu - towns facing increasing transport issues resulting from large scale residential and business development in the area.

The PTUA introduced the “Western Connector” rail proposal at a well-attended public meeting in Kumeu on March 23rd, which has since obtained support from the Auckland Council Infrastructure Committee, Waitakere and Rodney Local Boards and many Councillors. Presently, that leaves just Auckland Transport as the sole opponents of this proposal” Reeves said.

Management at Auckland Transport, through their planning process, is consciously delivering poor public transport options for North West Auckland residents, ratepayers and commuters. The Deputy Mayor and Mayor must urgently ask Auckland Transport to cease plans to reduce West Auckland rail services and immediately undertake an independent study of rail services to Huapai. Reeves says “The management of AT have based their decisions on an outdated report from 2012, which was seriously flawed, did not take into consideration the massive growth the region is currently experiencing, and typically contained elements of ‘gold-plating’ to ensure West Auckland commuters are robbed of valuable rail services”.

The PTUA fully supports efforts to complete the busway along the North-Western Motorway to relieve traffic congestion caused by current and future SHA developments, “but realistically a completed busway would be 5 to 7 years away at a minimum. We need the Government to come to the party for that and we need Auckland Council to immediately step up pressure on Auckland Transport management for a train service to Huapai. Auckland Council should not be fobbed off by AT management about rail to Huapai. The 2012 report by MR Cagney has more holes in it than Swiss cheese” says Reeves.

Full details about the “Western Connector” rail proposal can be found at www.PTUA.org.nz


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