I rode out to Swanson on the weekend to have a look at the two developments that have been happening out there.
The first was to see what $2.5 million of Auckland Transport and NZTA money buys us. The answer, a new park n ride facility with 136 carparks. This is in addtion to the small existing carpark. The new addition works out at over $18,000 per carpark highlighting just how expensive it is to add capacity by way of park n ride. If every space is used every working day in a year it would add about 34k trips per year.
Carparks are fairly boring but the images below highlight the location of the carpark in relation to the station. The second image is taken from the platform
AT say the works are completed however there’s no sign of the covered walkway or station upgrades as initially mentioned.
The proposed improvements at Swanson include
- Construction of a Park and Ride with an additional 136 car parks and a covered walkway to the station. This is expected to cost $2.5 million and be completed in March 2015.
- A station upgrade which will include improved lighting, signage, CCTV, additional platform shelters, walkway canopies to the footbridge and stairs, and new platform surfacing and marking. Design is expected to be completed at the end of 2014.
Note: the original carpark below
The other and more interesting development is the Penihana North development that’s happening to the south of the tracks. This is the only greenfield development next to a station served by electric trains and as such it will be interesting to see what impact the development. I’d suggest it will probably lead to a greater gain in patronage than the Park n Ride will – although it obviously takes up more space too. I understand it has taken over 13 years to occur due to a lot of opposition from local residents – some who suggest it will be an urban ghetto (I suspect they don’t know what a real urban ghetto is). Perhaps one positive is I suspect the delay has meant the development is better than it would have been as if if occurred 13 years ago the idea of the station being important wouldn’t have crossed the developers mind.
The development basically covers the area below that is (was) lined with hedges.
It seems that a lot of bulk earthworks are going on but I’d suggest we’ll start seeing houses sprouting up later this year as the sections closest to the station look almost ready for them – including with formed roads. In total it is expected there will be about 330 dwellings in the development with those closest to the station being terraced houses. One aspect that I really like that has already been completed – but is not open to the public – is a shared path that runs alongside the tracks from Pooks Rd/Oneils Rd at eastern edge of the development. Importantly the path leads directly in to the station platform where there are also some new bike racks, this is something we need at many more stations. You can see it in the image below along with some of the development.
Oh and yes there is a small gap in the railing between the platform and the path at the end allowing for more permeability – it just needs some more HOP readers installed.
The new bike racks are slightly protected from the elements by the stairs for the pedestrian bridge.
From the station the development stretches up away from the station
The map below gives an idea of how the development is being laid out
My guess is that all the developments at Swanson – including the electric trains – will help considerably boost patronage from the station which has been one of the lesser used on the network