5.4 Public Transport

Patumahoe village is located 12km (10min drive) from the centre of Pukekohe, but only 8km from the outskirts which are continuing to creep outwards.

It is the through access to Pukekohe for many residents from the surrounding communities:  Kingseat, Glenbrook, Waiau Pa, Clarks Beach, and Mauku.

small puke station and trainWithout access to public transport –  journeys to and from the village are taken by private or business owned vehicles, with most cyclists being recreational or sports cyclists.  Walking to-from Pukekohe, while not non-existent would be very rare.  Rural youth are often disadvantaged by the lack of public transport, and rely on friends or family to transport them.  With the increase in the driving age, this reliance will be longer at a time when otherwise, they are becoming more independent.

On the southern side of the village there is an existing operating railway – which once had a Patumahoe village station.  The railway has multiple trains moving freight to and from the Glenbrook Steel Mill.  It connects to the main trunk line to Pukekohe at Paerata.  The railway has also been extended from the Glenbook Steel Mill line by the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, which has reinstated the old branch line into Waiuku – which will finally terminate at the town centre near the estuary.

 

Suggestions from participants:

If a location is identified, we would like Auckland Council to purchase land to allow for possible long term future train station.  This will be included in the spatial planning aspect of Feasibility Study we have requested.

We believe that Patumahoe is suitably suited for a park and ride for the following reasons:

  • The railway that runs to the south of Patumahoe village is closely located to the residential area, and is already an operating line – freight runs into Glenbrook Steel Mill – and including the project by Glenbrook Vintage Railway takes the line all the way into the Waiuku township,
  • Proposed development of 5,000 Kingseat residents will include a large number of commuters which can be served by a train station here – if a cycleway link between the two villages was created with the implementation of the development – any station here could be reasonably accessed by Kingseat youth without the need for vehicle licenses,
  • Waiuku is already been prioritised as a heritage town, and has a large industrial site planned and would also benefit from a weekend commuter and weekend tourist train service to Auckland,
  • Paerata, also planned for industrial and commercial development, is the location of the train line divergence from Papakura – Pukekohe and an existing stop.  If the decision is made now to ensure space for a possible Park ‘n’ Ride, this could be a great future asset to the community given the expected – and no longer disputed – increasing cost of fuel,
  • Many of Patumahoe and Mauku residents commute to Auckland, and a line specific to our community would not be economical – or reasonable – to be included as a stop on a Paerata – Waiuku line would a logical decision for a service that would benefit the wider community – Waiuku, Awhitu Peninsula and west Franklin,
  • A train service, especially if linked to alternative transport and cycling routes – would allow our younger people some autonomy regarding transport especially considering the lifting of the licensing age for drivers.

 

small ranui station and platformOther considerations:

Many cities around the world are planning public transport systems and improvements given the research regarding peak oil production and anthromorphic climate changes.

City planners are also focusing on creating high-density liveable communities within prescribed urban limits.  If that is the direction of Auckland Council communities on the outskirts of the city may find access to resources and improvements limited unless they are on a defined transport corridor or public transport network.

Central government has also reversed transport strategies that followed overseas long-term strategies and has reinstated emphasis on road development – making it difficult for local government to plan and fund alternative transport projects.

 

Planning advice:

Ensure that a location is identified and land acquisition takes place.  This will allow for plans to be drawn up that have an element of future proofing about them.

 

CONCLUSIONS / ACTIONS

5.4.1 Initial Spatial Plan for village centre

A location for a train station will be defined by any spatial planning for the village centre, regardless of current policy and resource allocation, to ascertain the best position for future proofing and land acquisition requirement.

This Initial Spatial Plan has been requested in the Local Board Annual plan – August 2011 and includes considerations from 3.2 and 4.1.

5.4.2 Land acquisition Train Station location

When idenfied we ask that any land acquisition include this location – which until needed can be utilised as a passive reserve.

We believe that this approach will ensure any transport planning (vehicles, pedestrians, cycles) can then be designed with this possibility in mind – reducing future adjustment costs, increasing networking cohesion and avoiding later increased purchase prices – given that the village would have expanded at that stage.

5.4.3 Policy changes for Transport

In our Auckland Plan submission (May 2011) and out Local Board Annual Plan submission (August 2011) we asked Auckland Council to define a fuel price indicator or trend signal that allows them to re-prioritise the spending and subsidising of public transport, so that as economic and environmental priorities change, some flexibility is retained in local government that allows a shift in policy and spending without long delay.

From a long term planning perspective there will be greater future use of public transport and provision needs to be made now for this.

 

Next page:  6.  Natural Environment

6.1  Ecological corridors & sites

6.2  Regeneration & Pest/Weed control