World’s Most Liveable City? Part Three

A Petition has been started and Presentations due to be given to Council

We can do better – we really can

 

Sentiment continues to build towards Auckland Transport (and NZTA) over the East-West Link Motorway options in lower central Auckland and South Auckland. With the destructive options on offer straight out of the 1950’s compared to some more err 21st Century solutions I can see why there is sentiment at the moment.

What I am referring is the East-West (motorway) link connecting State Highways’ One and Twenty (Southern and South Western Motorways) from the airport in the west to Highbrook in the east. You can see two of the most physical and environmentally destructive options (4 and 8) as well as a more beneficial alternative in these respective posts:

Currently there is a petition by the “Respect Our Community” community organisation going around the Internet. The link is here:

“Hon Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Transport,New Zealand Parliament : Respect our community & stop plans to construct the East-West motorway through our neighbourhoods of the Mangere, Otahuhu & Wymondley Rd area.”

 

The ‘guts’ of the petition is this:

The Government is considering plans to build a ‘high-capacity’ East-West motorway, linking the Southern Motorway (SH1) with the South West motorway (SH20).

This new road will be ‘fast-tracked’ to mainly cater for big trucks moving freight in containers. At least 2 of the options being considered would see a new four lane highway carved right through Mangere & Otahuhu & Wymondley, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of homes, the breaking up our community into disconnected segments, and increased traffic & pollution levels.

The ‘Respect Our Community’ Campaign (ROCC) was launched at a large public meeting in Mangere recently, to stop this motorway madness BEFORE a route is chosen.

We say: Stop destroying communities for unnecessary & costly motorways, instead:

(1) Expand rail links for most freight,

(2) encourage night-time trucking, &

(3) seriously upgrade public transport, and cycling & walking facilities to un-clog our roads.

Please sign the petition now, & ask your family & neighbours to sign it too. Also: hard copies can be collected and dropped off it off at the:

Mangere East Community Learning Centre, 372 Massey Rd, (behind the library) before 15 November 2013.

OR post to: ROCC, PO Box 86022, Mangere East, Ak 2158.

LOOK OUT FOR OUR CAMPAIGN NEWSPAPER.

This petition will be presented to Mangere MP Su’a Willian Sio at 10am on Saturday 30 November 2013, at the Mangere East Xmas Festival, the Village Green (Next to the Library on Massey Rd).

Below is the NZTA map of just one of the 4 new motorway ‘options’ that are currently being considered:

(see more of the government’s 4 options at www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz or NZTA website)

Solid petition and excellent requests from numbers one and three. Number two request I am more wary over per-se. I am assuming this is meant to be for the heavy rights and “H-Class” super heavy rigs rather than the smaller “shuttle” and courier trucks running around. Owing to the fact we are a post-modern society thus operate in a “just-in-time” mode set, I am therefore wary of overtly punitive regimes against the heavy rigs. Sure we can encourage, maybe offer incentives and get the freight rail system up to actual scratch – that I do not mind, but punitive regimes from an important cog is something I won’t support.

If the ROC group would like to provide clarification around number two (encourage night-time trucking I am all ears 🙂 ).

 

4th December – Council Physical Infrastructure Committee Meets

 

On the 4th of December the Physical Infrastructure Committee of Auckland Council will meet for the first time this term. Councillor Mike Lee who was chair of the now defunct Transport Committee is the chair of this particular infrastructure committee and no doubt will like to hear what Auckland Transport has to say for itself on the East-West Link. Mind you it is worth noting that Councillor Lee and Councillor Chris Fletcher are also the two councillors serving as board members on Auckland Transport itself…

I will be putting in an attendance as a public spectator to the Physical Infrastructure Committee but at the moment will not be giving a presentation at the committee on the East-West Link. I will make a fleeting reference though in my presentation to the Urban/Rural Development Committee this Thursday coming up (28th November) however, I’ll will stand back and support the Respect our Communities group giving their presentation to the Physical Infrastructure Committee on the day. I believe this is their stage to shine the spotlight both at Council (who are being briefed from Auckland Transport the same day) and Auckland Transport themselves on the East-West Link situation.

I do with Respect Our Community all the best on the 4th and they “go-get-em” after the Link plans made first light.

 

Again there are better ways to get solutions for the movement of freight and people across between the airport and Highbrook, it does not need to be gold-plated nor as destructive as what is being proposed currently.

Ironically looking back at my Auckland Plan submission (starts page 40) I did mention about future proofing the Airport Line to handle both passenger and freight train traffic.

From page 48 of that submission:

Future Proofing Rail Lines

 

These lines should be future proofed for when the need for rail does eventuate:

○    Airport Line (from Onehunga-to airport-to main line at Wiri)

○    Botany Line

○    South West Line

○    North Shore Line

 

In most cases a bus RTN (and widening State Highway 20B) serving where the rail lines for the areas bullet pointed above will be adequate for those route until about 2020-2025.

Although with major development at the airport especially around freight and logistics, I would recommend to Auckland Council doing a viability study on the Airport Line option to be built from 2015 in handling both passengers AND freight. I would like to know once and for all in a technical report if (what is called in the rail business a Depot Shunt: a small locomotive pulling upwards of 10 freight wagons from a private business’s rail siding to the primary deports at Westfield, Southdown and Wiri) freight shunting services could be provided economically and efficiently to large logistic/freight hubs located at the airport. If it cannot then at least I know formally that it cannot.

The priority suggestion will provide an outline of which projects should be done in which order to best serve Auckland.

 

And on page 49:

The Priority System

As resources and capital is scarce, a priority system is needed best allocate those scarce resources and capital to extend Auckland’s Transport System. This priority system in this submission will be brief with extended details provided in a separate submission to the Auckland Long Term Draft Plan.

Priority One (To be completed by 2018) 

  • Building of the Eastern Highway (to the Sub-Regional Standard Option as mentioned in Section 3.5 of the EASTDOR Final Report
  • Realigning the Westfield Diamond
  • Relocating or adding rail stations
  • Re allocating bus routes, improving bus feeder systems to rail stations or bus RTN systems
  • Feasibility Study of the Airport Rail Line including freight option
  • Starting the bus RTN roll out especially along State Highway 20, 20A and 20B
  • South-to-Manukau Rail Link Completion

 

 Priority Two (To be completed by 2025) 

  • Completion of Inner City Rail Link
  • Third Rail Line from Port to Papakura
  • Airport Rail Line (if deemed feasible)
  • SecondHarbour Crossing
  • South West Rail Line (if freight is still moving to Northland)
  • Rail Electrification to Hamilton (not mentioned or included in this submission)

 

If someone wants to have a debate on the Eastern Highway expressway and Botany Line can that be saved for another thread please. I’ll review both those particular “options” in another post shortly.

 

So yes have submitted on it formally to Auckland Council and certainly not forgotten either. In saying that some of the options like The Eastern Highway and Botany Line I am reviewing at the moment with the ever changing environment that is Auckland.

 

4th December from 1:30pm in Town Hall; the Physical Infrastructure Committee where discussion around the East-West Link will be done by the Councillors for the first time (by the looks of it).