Tag: Desley Simpson

Comment on Selwyn Station

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:

Photo: Letter to editor published today
Source: Facebook (in public mode)

 

The proposed location around Selwyn Station is here:

Source: http://transportblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Selwyn-Station.jpg

 

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?
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

 

 

Colin Maiden Park to come under Public Ownership

Colin Maiden Park transferred from Private to Public Ownership

 

Good news after a long campaign to have Colin Maiden Park in Tamaki converted over from private ownership (University of Auckland) to public ownership (Auckland Council).

From Auckland Council on the transfer:

Colin Maiden Park to stay in public ownership

 

Auckland Council has added Colin Maiden Park in St Johns to its parks network, ensuring this open space and sports field complex remains in public ownership and available to the people of Auckland forever.

The unconditional agreement with the University of Auckland means that the 20 hectare park will be taken over by council early next year, which allows the university to focus on plans for its new developments in the city centre and Newmarket. The park is being acquired for $60.7m.

Mayor Len Brown says this is one of the most significant urban park acquisitions in Auckland’s history and council’s decision to acquire the park will ensure that Aucklanders have access to this asset forever.

“We have acquired Colin Maiden Park for the people who use and enjoy it every day of the week, whether they are from Glen Innes, Glen Eden or Glenfield. We can all be proud that the last major piece of private open space on the isthmus has been retained for the people of Auckland,” he says.

 

The Chair of council’s Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee, Councillor Christine Fletcher, reflected on the significance of this decision to the community.

“Together with the netball centre and Ngahue Reserve, this decision creates an incredible 44 hectare sports and open space complex for Auckland. This rivals Western Springs or the Domain for scale and significance,” says Cr Fletcher.

Orakei Local Board Chair Desley Simpson expressed great pleasure and relief at the decision.

“We have honoured the opinions expressed by so many Orakei residents – the future of the park was the one of the most submitted-on issues in the draft Unitary Plan.

“Our community was particularly concerned that the park might become intensive housing. It is now guaranteed to remain as public open space and available to everybody,” says Ms Simpson.

 

The park will transfer to the council’s local and sports parks portfolio on 1 February 2014.

This acquisition was an unbudgeted item which has been factored into the draft Annual Plan 2014/15. Council has also agreed to explore the sale of three parcels of council-owned land around Colin Maiden Park, to assist with the cost of acquiring the park.

Sale of land will follow the relevant public consultation processes in the Reserves Act and the Local Government Act. If any land is sold, any existing uses and activities on that land will be provided for on Colin Maiden Park or in the same general area.

In the coming months, council will work with all current users of the park to discuss their existing arrangements and look at how we continue to work together. Long term management of the park will also be addressed through council and the local board’s planning processes.

—ends—

 

I believe congratulations are in order for Orakei Local Board Chairwoman Desley Simpson as the public figurehead that spearheaded the campaign to have Colin Maiden Park transferred to public ownership – securing its place as Open Space on the isthmus. Well done Delsey and co for a job well done 🙂

 

Now just to get the bureaucratic proceedings out-of-the-way and Auckland has a very large park secured for its future.