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Onehunga Rail Petition Heads To Parliament

MEDIA RELEASE: 6 November 2006

Onehunga Rail Petition Heads To Parliament

A petition to re-open the Onehunga railway line will be considered in Parliament this week.

Former Transport Minister Mark Gosche will be tabling the petition to the Transport and Industrial Relations select committee on Thursday 9th November. The Onehunga line runs through the Maungakiekie MP’s electorate.

Petition organisers, The Campaign for Better Transport, originally presented the 8,000 signature petition to the ARC last May, in the hope that its subsidiary the Auckland Regional Transport Authority would consider it as part of their ten year Passenger Transport Network Plan.

The Board of ARTA considered the petition, but elected not to include the Onehunga line in the ten year plan.

"It was disappointing, considering the cost of reopening the Onehunga line lies within the margin of error of most other transport projects," said Campaign for Better Transport spokesperson Cameron Pitches.
The cost of reopening the Onehunga line was determined in a 2004 report at between $6.4m and $11m, including three new stations.
"But we are very grateful that Mr Gosche has offered to present the petition at a central Government level."

In a meeting last week, Mr Gosche told the CBT that the Transport and Industrial Relations committee is likely to produce a report on the future of the line.

Meanwhile, Auckland City Council officials are due to report back to their Transport and Urban Linkages Committee shortly on the possibility of a railway station being incorporated into a property development on Onehunga Mall. Councillors on the committee endorsed the Onehunga line proposal at its most recent meeting last month.

"A number of different threads are coming together. With climate change and the volatile price of fuel on everyone’s lips, this is a cost-effective project that could serve Auckland sustainably into the future," added Mr Pitches.


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