NZ Herald on “Boost for Trains In (the) South”
Wednesday I had posted on The Wheels of Progress Turning and how we are a step closer to Electrification all the way to Pukekohe and getting the Manukau South Link built and operating. Today Mathew Dearnaley from the NZ Herald posted his article on these two developments.
From the NZH:
Auckland Transport will be asked by its council parent to give high priority to a south-facing rail link from Manukau while also considering the cost of electrifying trains to Pukekohe.
The council’s transport committee this week heard the organisation’s board is to consider electrification costs to Pukekohe at its next meeting in a fortnight.
But after the Franklin and Papakura local boards urged a more direct rail link with Manukau, the committee also decided to ask Auckland Transport to give that high priority before electric trains start running in 2014.
Although the Government’s existing $500 million electrification project is to stop at Papakura, committee member Christine Fletcher said an extension to Pukekohe was “the next logical step”.
Mrs Fletcher, who is also a council appointee to the transport board, believed an existing order of 57 electric trains being built-in Spain should be extended.
Although the cost of electrifying rail to Papakura was estimated at $115 million in 2008, and would normally be seen as the Government’s responsibility, committee chairman Mike Lee noted that he and Mrs Fletcher had persuaded the transport board last month to save $50 million by scaling down the upgrade of Dominion Rd.
“So it’s a matter of priority,” he said.
The committee also decided council staff should do their own study, although in consultation with Auckland Transport and the local boards, on the costs and benefits of a south-facing link from Manukau in relation to other rail projects.
Councillor George Wood said an $81 million north-facing line to Manukau, built to feed into a new Manukau Institute of Technology campus, was not “giving anywhere near the level of service it could do to people living to the south”.
Hmm Mathew, you might want to do some research (or get your junior to do so) on how the Manukau South Link came about. To give you hand go click THIS LINK and THIS LINK and THIS LINK on how the entire Manukau South Link matter arose and got to where it was.
As I have emailed Councillors Wood, Fletcher and Lee; a massive thanks to all three of them was sent for facilitating the discussion on the Manukau South Link which then got put alongside the Pukekohe electrification proposal. A special thanks to Councillor George Wood was also mentioned for bringing to the Transport Committee the Notice of Motion after I had raised concern about the South Link with him directly.
Now I will work on operation proposals on services running from Pukekohe and Papakura to Manukau using the South Link using both the existing DMU (Diesel) rolling stock and the new upcoming EMU (Electric) rolling stock and forward them to the Transport Committee for consideration.
But as I have said before:
I will continue to advocate and lobby hard for that South Link to be built – FOR YOU, the residents of South (and Counties) Auckland! As you deserve better!
Well I get nothing out of this directly nor personally per se. What I do get once the South Link is built and operating is the quiet satisfaction that access for South and Counties Auckland to Manukau via the South Link (Manukau being the major Southern Hub of Auckland) has been greatly improved for residents and communities south of Manukau. Quiet satisfaction that as a citizen and ratepayer of Auckland, I have done my part in advocating and lobbying our civic institutions in wanting to make my community that I live in a better place. And that is regardless if I am elected to Papakura Local Board next year or not!
I’ll draw up another post this weekend on my campaign for Papakura Local Board, but as Councillor Wood noted and thanked in the Transport Committee on Wednesday: I do have a real passion and drive on transport and planning issues here in Auckland as I just simply want Auckland my home to be a better place to live, work and play in. Thus why I lobby, advocate and draw up proposals for Council on all things Transport and Planning – it is not for me – it is for you!
BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND
Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)
Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL