Boards back level crossing removal plans

Publish Date : 12 Sep 2023
Calls for a rail freight facility have been supported by local boards in the south of the city, particularly by Franklin, which says moving the area's produce by rail would take trucks off the road.

Local boards in the south of the city have sent similar feedback to Auckland Transport on rail development over the next 30 years.

While each of Franklin, Papakura and Manurewa addressed concerns specific to their areas, they were united in a call for longer-term planning, and in supporting the removal of level crossings, frequently the site of fatal or serious injury accidents.

Franklin board chair Angela Fulljames says removing level crossings by closures or grade separation will enable more frequent trains and minimise the risk to pedestrians and cyclists.

“We have made a point of deferring to the views of Papakura, where communities are directly impacted, while our communities might benefit from shorter train trips that closure and grade separation will enable.”

She says the board recognises the benefit of more tracks that would enable express and limited stop metro services, with travel times to the city on par with off-peak car trips.

“Where we might differ from the other boards is in our call for closer consideration of how road freight aligns with rail, with the potential to reduce truck movements on our roads, and a call for a freight depot on the network to support produce moving out of Pukekohe.”
Changes to the city's rail network could mean the need for alterations at Manurewa Station.

Changes to the city's rail network could mean the need for alterations at Manurewa Station.

Papakura board chair Brent Catchpole says now is the time for additional property purchase to provide park and ride capacity at new stations between Pukekohe and Papakura, particularly at Paerata and Drury.

“Papakura and Pukekohe stations are already transport hubs for people coming from the Waikato, yet existing park and ride capacity is limited and does not meet demand.

“We don’t want to see that get worse, with drivers desperate for parking to connect to train services.”

Manurewa chair Glenn Murphy says the boards recognise the need for a well-maintained, resilient and efficient heavy rail network that supports passenger and freight movements.

“We have added our voice to the call for more tracks to increase the speed and frequency of services, but that does raise concerns about Manurewa station, which would need significant alterations to accommodate that.”

He says the board welcomes proposed station upgrades to respond to growth, more passengers and larger nine car trains, but has urged the narrow Browns Road overbridge by Homai station be widened, and that a pedestrian crossing be added to serve the station.

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