Chair of Orakei Local Board gives opinion around proposed Selwyn Station
This morning I had spotted this photo from the Chair of Orakei Local Board (Desley Simpson) in regards to Selwyn Station:
The proposed location around Selwyn Station is here:
So I sent of a list of questions yesterday to Desley Simpson seeking her comment around Selwyn Station. These were Desley’s comments to which I thank for her responses:
- Why do you think Selwyn Station should be built
The original request came from Selwyn College during public consultation over the first Orakei Local Board Plan. In looking at the request it became obvious that in addition to providing easy access to Selwyn College such a station, with appropriate service roads and pathways, would provide a much-needed North/South link plus access to the rail public transport network for the large population in the Gowing Drive area and a number of eastern suburbs.
Currently there is a large percentage of our ward that don’t have access to rail
- Who would be ‘served’ by Selwyn Station?
Suburbs south of Kepa Road and north of St Johns Road would have walking/cycling access. Other suburbs such as St Heliers, Glendowie, Kohimaramara, Mission Bay and St Johns would have access to the rail system via feeder bus services that the Orakei Local Board have been advocating for since the first Orakei Local Board Plan.
- What facilities should Selwyn Station have?
- Park and Ride –New Park & Ride hasn’t been part of the Orakei Local Board advocacy as yet but could possibly apply although the territory is steep and probably not particularly suitable for large-scale park n ride without a large investment in car parks.
- Kiss and Ride – definitely kiss and ride since the Orakei Local Board plan is for an access road to go down the Poerewa Valley from the intersection of St Heliers Bay Rd and St Johns Rd and then bend around to go back up to Kepa Road beside Selwyn College.
- Cycle lockers like Papakura and Papatoetoe Stations – the OLB are already advocating for cycle lockers/racks at Orakei and Meadowbank so lockable cycling facilities at the Poerwa Station can be assumed.
- A bus bay like Homai, Papakura and Manurewa Stations – I haven’t viewed all the examples given but, as noted above having feeder buses servicing the local population is very much part of the Orakei Local Board advocacy so bus bays will be included.
- When would you like Selwyn Station to be open and operating by (apart from “yesterday”)
The Orakei Local Board advocacy has been to get such a project included in the funding allocated to Auckland Transport in the current LTP. At this stage it appears that funds have been allocated to carry out a full evaluation including the development of a Tamaki Drive to Glen Innes walkway/cycleway, so getting through that process is the next stage and we would like to think that this will be completed in the 2014/2015 financial year. Indications are that construction of parts of the walkway/cycleway could be started in the 2014/2015 year.
- Has Auckland Transport given any indication to you when Selwyn Station would be operating by?
It’s all a matter of funds being allocated but the Orakei Local Board would like to see construction starting in the current term. Hopefully this is not too optimistic.
- If and when Selwyn Station is operating would you support Meadowbank Station being closed down and if so (or not) why?
We believe that the Meadowbank Station should stay open but maybe not serviced by “express” trains. Express trains haven’t been discussed with AT but are a feature of train services overseas and our train system has to service the combined needs of “underground” and “suburban” train services so cutting out a station that services a growing community doesn’t make a lot of sense.
- Has AT given any indication of numbers that would use the Selwyn Station both in the peak and off-peak
We don’t have numbers and this will be part of the evaluation process currently being undertaken.
- Any comments to Transport Blog’s Tweet in regards to Selwyn Station: Horrendously expensive for low patronage
We would disagree about low patronage comment. If you consider the number of people residing in the Gowing Drive area with very poor public transport options and then add in the requirements coming out of Selwyn College and activities at the ASB Centre ( its a sporting and community facility) plus future appropriate new housing developments you don’t have to be too optimistic to see several thousand passengers a day. Rail is expensive anyway but is the backbone of Auckland’s future public transport system and inner city suburbs are surely as entitled to be connected to the rail system as outlying suburbs are .
The Tweet from Transport Blog that gave rise to my last question was this one:
Again I thank you Desley for taking the time to reply to my questions around Selwyn Station, very much appreciated.
At this point in time I continue to support the Orakei Local Board and their push for Selwyn Station. Of course like the Manukau South Rail Link, Selwyn Station will have to jump through the hoops and have a business case on it to evaluate its viability.
However, for now we will have to see if Selwyn will land as a project to do in the 2015-2025 Long Term project and if so when exactly. The 2015-2025 Long Term Plan starts its drafting and consultation processes later this year.