Tag: South Auckland

Road Plan Concerns

South Eastern “Bypass” Causing Concern – In South Auckland

 

I had seen this particular article crop up yesterday in the Herald in regards to the Redoubt Road – Mill Road Corridor

Being that the said corridor is both close to home (being in Papakura and five minutes away from the southern end of the soon-mentioned corridor) and I often use to skip-pass a section of the Southern Motorway when it backs up (usually in the afternoons) BR:AKL will take a look at the situation, then later on post an alternative proposal to the scheme.

 

The Map on Page 331 of The Auckland Plan shows the corridor and area of land in question:

AP Transport Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click for Full Resolution

 

From the Herald article from our resident Transport Reporter – Mathew Dearnaley, there is a bit of upset from residents in the corridor area.

From The NZ Herald

Bypass plan horrifies residents

By Mathew Dearnaley

Hundreds of homes are in the firing line of a new arterial road for South Auckland – of which the first section alone is costed at almost $250 million.

Auckland Transport says about 260 properties, many of them along Redoubt Rd above Manukau, are in the path of the first stage of what it ultimately envisages as a 32km eastern bypass of the Southern Motorway to Drury.

The council organisation revealed last night a cost estimate of $246 million for the 9.2km section from Manukau and Flat Bush to Alfriston east of Manurewa, parallel with Mill Rd – including $66 million for property purchases – although it has yet to hazard a price for the full project.

Only $82 million is allocated for the next 10 years, and the project could take twice that time to complete.

But it intends seeking a route designation for the first section from the council’s planners by the end of next month, and says it is powerless to stop landowners from building new homes until then.

The plan has horrified residents of the historic Redoubt Ridge, through which Auckland Transport intends carving a road corridor up to 30m wide, past a remodelled junction with a widened Murphys Rd running from Flat Bush.

Redoubt Rd resident Raewyn Roberts, spokeswoman for an action committee to fight the proposal, yesterday called on Auckland Transport to avoid destroying what remained of a valuable ecological corridor from Murphys Bush to Totara Park and beyond.

She said it should instead press the Government’s Transport Agency to widen the Southern Motorway and alleviate a serious bottleneck caused by what she called a poorly-designed new connection with the Southwestern Motorway.

Long delays on the motorway were prompting many drivers to turn off at Manukau and head up Redoubt Rd, causing safety concerns which she accused Auckland Transport of exploiting to strengthen its case for a bypass.

Meetings held by Auckland Transport had reduced some of her neighbours – including migrants who had recently moved on to the road – to tears.

“It’s appalling,” she said. “This is a mega, mega project – they have this massive dual carriageway which will come roaring up from the old Manukau City centre, wipe out the ridge, then sweep down Mill Rd.”

A distraught fellow committee member, Eve Osborne, said she and her husband were assured by officials before buying their large colonial-style home further up the ridge for “close to $1 million” in 2011 that the road would avoid the property.

They moved in after being built out by neighbours in Glendowie, but had to halt badly-needed renovations to the Redoubt Rd property in October after learning the road would be “going smack through this house” and those on either side.

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said the road had been flagged as a strategic arterial route in the 30-year Auckland Plan, and was a priority project needed to cope with future growth from Flat Bush to Drury.

Although its preferred alignment “shows an impact” on about 260 properties, among more than 400 along the first stage of the road corridor, he said many may be affected in only minor ways.

The proposal

* Redoubt Rd-Mill Rd-Murphy Rd corridor:
* 32km long to Drury.
* $246 million for the first 9.2km stage, cost unknown south of Alfriston.
* About 260 properties affected in first stage.
* Likely to be built in several stages over 20 years

 

To be fair to Auckland Transport this corridor has been placed in The Auckland Plan as the picture above shows. To be even more “fair” this corridor has been floating around in plans for by the looks of it, the last decade or so; so plenty of notice and attention there. However to be fair to the home owners up at Redoubt Road and Redoubt Ridge, what AT has planned for the corridor is simply horrifying and I am sure we can think of some better alternatives here (given that aspects of the corridor are needed with mass urban development due out my way and along the corridor over the next 30-years).

 

Auckland Transport does have a website dedicated to the Redoubt Road-Mill Road Corridor in which you can find particular information on the project:

Redoubt Road – Mill Road corridor

Your questions on the Mill Road corridor answered

 Redoubt to Mill Road corridor > Old Mill Road consultation

Redoubt Road – Mill Road Corridor Study: Issues

Design and consultation (this one has graphics on the proposed works)

 

A reminder that the scope of the works is for the Redoubt Road – Mill Road Corridor FROM State Highway One (Manukau Interchange) to the Mill Road/Alfriston Road Intersection. Any thing further south of that particular intersection leading into Papakura and later Drury has not come up yet (not that I have seen), so  a case of wait-and-see with AT to see what comes up there (it is also the section that would have my attention more as I am only five minutes away from that section of the corridor).

 

I will write up a separate post on alternatives to the corridor works later to see if effects of the works and corridor could be better minimised.

 

But I do agree with this in the duration:

“Redoubt Rd resident Raewyn Roberts, spokeswoman for an action committee to fight the proposal, yesterday called on Auckland Transport to avoid destroying what remained of a valuable ecological corridor from Murphys Bush to Totara Park and beyond.

She said it should instead press the Government’s Transport Agency to widen the Southern Motorway and alleviate a serious bottleneck caused by what she called a poorly-designed new connection with the Southwestern Motorway. Long delays on the motorway were prompting many drivers to turn off at Manukau and head up Redoubt Rd, causing safety concerns which she accused Auckland Transport of exploiting to strengthen its case for a bypass.”

Yep NZTA stuffed that up alright when they built the State Highways 1/20 interchange. The bottleneck at Hill Road Off-ramp where the motorway south goes from three to two lanes has been there for the last 20 years or more. NZTA decide to build (the much-needed) State Highway 20 interchange but forget to widen the motorway to three lanes to at least Takanini Interchange or for better results Papakura Interchange (which is getting an upgrade anyhow) which means the bottleneck is a heck of lot worse (and yes I tried to avoid it countless times by using Redoubt Road and Mill Road, or the Great South Road in the afternoon rush hour). To the situation worse NZTA are upgrading the Papakura Interchange to allow easier traffic movement in that area but forget the Papakura to Hill Road section of the motorway including Takanini Interchange, making the bottlenecks worse. I wonder because Papakura is a National Party electorate (Justice Minister Judith Collins) and the Takanini Interchange falls into the Manurewa Electorate (Labour MP – Louisa Wall) that NZTA have got their priorities in interchange upgrades backwards (Takanini was due for its upgrade 2015, but now its off the books entirely)

 

However at the end of the day the Redoubt Road/Mill Road corridor will need to be built (regardless of State Highway One) but in a more tactful manner that is not as disturbing as the current proposal. I don’t quite think large-scale carriage-ways are needed now or ever even with the growth coming up in the area.

 

As I said I shall draw an alternative’s proposal up later and see what I get…

 

A Letter from A Councillor

Councillor George Wood Writes to Manukau Courier

 

While checking my Facebook feed in the morning (as you do) I noticed a comment from former Manurewa Local Board Chair:

 

That got me looking and I discovered this:

 

Basically Councillor George Wood spelling it out as it is with public transport issues down here in South Auckland – especially with buses (an area admittedly I am not paying much issue to but should very well be).

I agree with the entire letter from the Councillor to the point I will be throwing more resources or rather effort here at BR:AKL on our bus issues and getting them sorted.

 

However Newman was “fuming” because the Southern Initiative got mentioned and the bad onus around that. Yes the Southern Initiative has had its rather ugly moments in either rough-shodding over the Local Boards or budget re-routing away from Local Boards to Southern Initiative projects that are overseen by the main governing body.

The focus from the letter should be on our transport here in South Auckland, not dragging the Southern Initiative into this as that is another debate along with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

Also I have seen no oppositional Councillor nor mayoral candidate state they would overthrow the Southern Initiative after the 2013 elections and put in place an alternative. I believe it is the case of we are lugged with it – let’s try and make this work best we can – as rough-shodding by Council Officers, CCOs, and the Governing Body happens right across the spectrum – not just the Southern Initiative.

My comment to Newman makes somewhat that point:

Ben Ross

Burnt from the Budget (which burnt the entire city any how) I still see.

That aside – well something must being going on as 2012 was a mixed year for success and failures in dealing with the Governing Body from personal experience (that is the Governing Body not the CCOs).

Failures: The Auckland Plan in part but more so the Long Term Plan. The new Rubbish Policy.

Successes: Irony would have it this has been down the transport division:- Manukau South Link, Pukekohe Electrification Extension, cant comment with the RPTP yet as the hearing is still coming up, slow progress with the bus situation down south – but least its moving.

Next Challenge: Again transport, however Alcohol Policies with the new Act in position

So “bringing them to the Governing Body” has had its moments of success and failures -( for a scrappy little ratepayer  ) – but that is to be expected. 2013 is going to bring?…

 

A case of win-some, you lose-some. But you continue to battle on in pushing or lobbying for what you want to see to make Auckland a better place – the purpose behind this blog from day one.

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
AND
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

 

 

 

Papakura Station – Refurbished

Opening of Papakura Station Platform Three

 

Over the weekend rail Block of Lines, the rail engineers had “commissioned” platform three at Papakura Station after an extensive revamp. This revamp included moving the old heritage Papakura Station Building and Signal Panel to the Platform Three location and sprucing the building up for a new lease of life. Platform Four at Papakura Station should have also been commissioned but will not be in use until the Electric’s start running from late next year.

 

I have some photos of Papakura Station taken from the over-bridge this afternoon. It is of note I was one of the first passengers out of platform three this  morning on the 5:05am service from Papakura to Britomart via The Eastern Line. I must say on first looks the new platform and refurbished building were looking very good. But I shall let you judge:

 

I will try endeavour to get close-ups and some shots inside the refurbished station building later on this week when I have time off.

For those looking for the station building moving shots from earlier this year, refer to my PAPAKURA STATION BUILDING ON THE MOVE post.

Wheels of Motion are Turning

Fighting for the South Manukau Link

 

Continuing 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!

 

Last month I had posted on someone deciding to place a nice big concrete pad in the middle of the path for the Manukau Rail Southern Link. You can see the post (SOUTH AUCKLAND GETS SHAFTED – YET AGAIN) by clicking on the link.

Well after some advocating and lobbying, Councillor George Wood who is a member of the Council Transport Committee got a Notice of Motion placed into November’s agenda about the South Link. The Notice of Motion is:

Requests Auckland Transport to give a high priority to the installation of a south facing rail link between the Manukau Spur Line and the North Island Main Trunk Line at Wiri so that this connection can be in place by the time
that electrification of the Auckland Metro rail systems occurs. 

You can see the Notice of Motion in the November Transport Committee Agenda at the bottom of this post.

 

Naturally I am supporting this motion after kicking up the initial fuss in the first place when I first spotted the concrete pad in the middle of the South Link’s path.

I had this to say in my material forwarded to Councillor Wood as well as my submission to the Regional Public Transport Plan:

The link to the original New Zealand Herald article: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10799107

 

As I said above, the Herald and I had commented on the missing link in April. Now some seven months later it seems apparent the link is a no-go or basically dead. Without the link; Manurewa, Papakura and Pukekohe are virtually isolated in easy access to Manukau by rail. This flies directly in the face of the idea around a Rapid Service that should allow very easy access with minimum fuss or transfers to a primary service centre for South Auckland.

The current proposal using trains which incur a transfer penalty at Puhinui or the bus trundling along the Great South Road (which takes more than double the time a train does) from Papakura to Manukau (and skipping Homai on the way) to me in my opinion is substandard for the people in these locales, and basically reinforces the isolation factor/feeling these residents have from a major service, employment and leisure centre!

Operational Proposal for Manukau to Papakura Link

With the Manukau to Papakura Link (The South Link) built for around $3.8m, the next question is what kind of services do you run. The answer is both straight forward for both the existing diesel passenger train fleet and the upcoming new electric passenger train fleet. The estimate length of journey from Papakura to Manukau Station via The South link is around 19 minutes (plus a seven minute walk from the Manukau Station to the Westfield Manukau Mall), compared to 30 mins using the Waka Pacific 471 and 472 bus according to the www.at.co.nz Journey Planner.

Thus allowing for turnaround at Manukau and Papakura Stations and knowing what rolling stock availability there is available pre-EMU’s; I recommend using one ADL-2 class DMU to run a single service backwards and forwards between Manukau and Papakura every one hour  in a single direction from 6:00am until around 10:19pm – seven days a week. That means for example your Papakura to Manukau via The South Link would start at Papakura at 6:30am and arrives in Manukau at 6:49am; then leave Manukau at 7:00am to make its return run to Papakura via the South Link.

An example of how a proposed Papakura-Manukau via The South Link Timetable would work (for brevity I have not included the afternoon services)

From Papakura Arrive at Manukau From Manukau Arrive at Papakura
    6:00am (first service) 6:19am
6:30am (first service) 6:49am 7:00am 7:19am
7:30am 7:49am 8:00am 8:19am
8:30am 8:49am 9:00am 9:19am
9:30am 09:49am 10:00am 10:19am
10:30am 10:49am 11:00am 11:19am
11:30am 11:49am 12:00pm 12:19pm
9:30pm (last service) 9:49pm 10:00pm (last service) 10:19pm

 

When the new electric trains are fully on-stream replacing the diesel fleet between Papakura and Swanson, the frequencies can be increased to every 30 minutes at the minimum, or 20 minutes for optimum service delivery until either the Botany or Airport Line (via Puhinui Station) is open and a new operating model would be in place (subject to EMU fleet availability).

In concluding this section of my RPTP; I highly recommend Auckland Transport remedy the situation and get that link for $3.8m built by 2016 at the absolute latest. Once the link is built, operating services would begin on an hourly timetable, stepping up to 20 minute frequencies once the new EMU fleet is fully online. To do otherwise is not an option unless you endorse isolating a major part of the community from its main service centre!

 

Now what I did not mention is the fact that we will have 10 ADL-class DMU’s available when all the EMU’s are online 2016. With ADL DMU’s already by then doing the Papakura – Pukekohe shuttle runs until the main line is electrified from Papakura to Pukekohe, those DMU’s can be extended to do a full Pukekohe – Papakura – Manukau via the Southern Link shuttle service until such a time Pukekohe is electrified and the EMU’s fully take over. So with upwards of 10 DMU’s, you can pretty much obtain 15-20 minute frequencies on Pukekohe – Manukau shuttles until those EMU’s can do the runs in place of the DMU’s (most likely 2020).

 

 

So here I am pitching for the residents and communities of: Homai, Manurewa, Takanini, Mahia, Papakura, Drury and (in-part) Pukekohe to get the missing link built for a frequent and rapid service to Manukau – the primary service and employment hub of South and Counties (former Franklin District) Auckland. Manukau has more connections to South Auckland residents than the CBD ever will, and as a result South Auckland should be able to access Manukau easily and efficiently which building The South Link will provide. To not provide the link and roll out the services utilising the link in my opinion as a Papakura resident and ratepayer, an insult to my fellow South Auckland neighbours and communities.

 

Thus 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!

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
AND
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

 

 

The Agenda