In case you missed it, the North Shore Rail campaign is holding a meeting tonight to draw out support from the public and Auckland Council candidates.

As the media release says, the campaign is really pushing for North Shore residents to turn up and demonstrate their support for a high capacity electric rail connection across the Waitemata, otherwise it might not happen at all. An online petition has so far garnered over 1,500 signatures from the general public.

If you aren’t familiar with the background, NZTA’s proposed road crossing has no economic business case and is likely to cause even more congestion in the central city and surrounding road networks unless further road widening takes place. The New Zealand Transport Agency are planning to lodge planning approvals with the Auckland Council for the road crossing some time early next year.

The free public meeting will feature Barb Cuthbert from Bike Auckland as MC, with speakers including:

  • Cameron Pitches from Better Transport
  • Patrick Reynolds from TransportBlog and Greater Auckland
  • Chris Darby, currently a North Shore Councillor and standing again in this year’s election
  • Richard Hills, current Kaipatiki Local Board Member and also standing this year for the Auckland Council North Shore electorate

To be held:

  • Thursday 15th September, 7:30pm
  • Onewa Netball Centre
  • 44 Northcote Road, Takapuna
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  1. The government have agreed to fund half CRL.
    But the NZTA is the government agency which plans and provides funds for roads and rail of our highway system.
    I am not sure if the NZTA supports the CLR.
    I think they strongly support cars and will undermine the CRL and rail to the NS.

      1. KiwiRail doesn’t plan for rail in New Zealand either. They have no new lines planned, and are currently in the process of selling off strategic land. Example: They are selling the Cambridge Branch land to developers, so any chance of a future regional commuter network in the Waikato won’t be including Cambridge. The irony is NZTA left space for the Cambridge Branch beneath the Waikato Expressway. So the roading agency is planning for future rail, whilst the rail agency is sabotaging it.

  2. I’m cynical about this, but purely only because I have never lived in an area of Auckland with anywhere near as good PT as the Shore gets from the Nex service.

    1. Wow, what a dream come true ATAP is for vehicle and petrol retailers on the North Shore! The inevitable and depressing result of adding NZTA’s love of road building to AT’s attitude to investing in public transport outside of the isthmus.

      Hope the new mayor starts again on this because we’re desperate for a mayor for all of Auckland, not just the centre.

    2. No heavy rail to the Shore?

      What is it about most Kiwis? (I speak as a whingeing Pom, although they’re no better).

      Here we are, staring down the barrel of heavy-rail’s huge success in Auckland (and Wellington), and yet we can’t bring our collective selves to countenance the extension of its proven benefits to areas not-yet served. Rail-o-phobia must be our national disease.

      I don’t have time to plough through all the ATAP wordage, but are there any proposals al all to expand heavy rail? Plans for not-yet-existing light rail are fickle and dissolve too easily into plans for bus transit instead.

      Perhaps when the CRL has opened and proved the obvious yet again, Kiwis will wake up.

      I hope.

      1. As a kiwi I share your frustration. Spend the money and do it right. The penny-pinching mindset. I know we had quite a history of scottish settlement (sorry!)

        1. We simply do not need the complexity that comes with heavy rail, for a passenger operation. An LRT line, not connected to NIMT allows easy transition to higher frequencies and driverless operation.

  3. I think one thing that is needed is not just rail to the North Shore, but an Auckland rail master plan for around 2060. This should include having the North Shore line extended all the way to Orewa and from there head northwest to join the North Auckland line. Also building heavy rail to the airport regardless of whether or not the light rail airport line is built, preferably via Otahuhu; and a new line east of the Tamaki River from Glenn Innes via Botany to Manukau. Also given detailed planning (which should be an urgent priority) should be the Gaunt Street to Newmarket route to link the North Shore line to the rest of the network (something that far too little thought has been given to). And all these routes should be future proofed right now so that we can build these routes when they actually are needed

    1. I had never thought of extending past Silverdale and see no real advantage of joining the NAL from Orewa as while I would like to see them, I don’t see any passenger services running north of Auckland at any time in the future. All other points I agree with and have brought up before, I would add to that a second western line over the top of the proposed NW busway but we need to be careful of overloading the current network that is already in need of an upgrade to allow more trains to run closer (more frequent) together.

      1. I want to see a proposed alignment for any rail north of Albany. That’s not great rail country, so would need some Victorian ambition and ingenuity to traverse with heavy rail. Nobody seems forthcoming with anything so far.

        1. Once you are past Lonely track rd (north of Albany) it would be reasonably plain sailing along the side of the motorway to Silverdale.

          1. It’s not rail flat. Sure, LRT could handle a lot of the grades, but so many people talk about a NS line linking up with the NAL and running services to Whangarei, so it’s obviously a HR proposition, but without the HR reality check.

          2. Sending HR across to the North Shore is an exercise in spending far more than required and at the same time hobbling the system. If we need to link further North in the future, an LRT line to Warkworth is going to be a magnitude easier to accomplish than HR. If we, in the future, need a connection to the NAL, there is the option of running a HR spur from Kaukapakapa to Silverdale or LRT to Kaukapakapa.

  4. I applaud the initiative, want to see it eventually and hope its successful sooner rather than later.

    But playing devil’s advocate, the busway has decades of capacity, especially when you factor in an extension to the north and complete on-street priority from end to end.

    The next priority for rail (light or heavy) should be through SW Auckland and linking into the airport (assumes AMETI busway is a certainty).

    1. Actually from what we hear, it might only have 10-15 years of capacity left. Growth is faster than anticipated so an upgrade of some form is likely needed sooner than previously thought.

      1. Yip that’s what I’m seeing from the patronage even outside peak hours on NEX and 881 buses going past on Fanshawe St. I agree. I think we’ve 10-15 years max even with the double deckers. And the Birkenhead Bus buses are often absolutely packed to the rafters in peak time when I see them stop outside Air NZ. They are definitely in need of some double deckers.

        Just want to say I’m gutted I missed the meeting. Didn’t even see it was on until after it had finished tonight!

      2. OK. If the capacity is going to be met in the not so distant future, fair enough. And if they are predicting 15yrs, then its probably more like 8 given dismal modeling for PT as well as increased patronage due to the new buses, new bus network, integrated ticketing, extensions north and better priority on the city side.

        Light rail across the harbor will be wonderful. Still feel sorry for those in SW Auckland. Something needs be done there.

  5. Compromise on this 🙂 Forget a tunnel too expensive and does not make the city a more beautiful place. A rail brigde with bus lanes and walking boulevard will be much more opportunity to show the splendid harbor to people. We do need the clearnace of the bridge to be as highh as the habour bridge and it also could have some nice curves in it to show around the harbour… I suggest even twisting under the existing bridge.

        1. It was designed with a port at Te Atatu in mind, and also Chelsea sugar works. 43m is not huge. You wouldn’t sail an AC72 under it without being worried.

  6. I’m amazed people are still going on about this. Trains to the north shore are impossible without the CRL. Britomart is a dead end and at full capacity. Once it’s built, trains to the airport and to the north shore ARE planned (one was 2031, one was 2041 – can’t remember which way around it was). In the meantime, you’ll have a whole new bus network on the shore within the next 18 months or so, with more frequent connector buses, and bigger frequency on busway services. The busway has a bigger frequency than anyone else in the rest of Auckland at the moment anyway, so it’s hard for us to feel much sympathy. I just don’t see the point in petitioning for something that is already planned. We all want everything and we want everything now but Auckland does not have hundreds of billions of dollars to throw around to get it all done at the same time. One thing at a time, people. PT in Auckland is constantly improving. I moved here in 2010 and the difference between now and then is remarkable. Patience, people. Patience.


    1. But there aren’t any rail corridors to the North Shore planned, let alone consented at present.

      The bus improvements will be great, but even those in the long term will run out of capacity.

      The other point you aren’t acknowledging is that right now NZTA are shortly about to lodge planning consent documents for an incredibly expensive road only crossing that could compromise the ability to get rail across in the future, as well as be a disaster in terms of transport outcomes.

    2. The point is that these things take a very long to happen, but also once plans are underway they have a certain momentum. The time to worry about the quality of the next harbour crossing is right now, though of course it won’t be started with in the next decade. We are simply trying to make sure our institutions hear all the arguments. And the ATAP seems to have entirely confirmed our concerns.

      I do agree strongly with your point about the rate of improvement in PT in AKL recently; it’s been huge, but from a low base, and still has a way to go. This is exactly what we are pushing to continue.

    3. Simon Bridges is 100 % responsible for this decision now. I meet him as a Young Nat. He has fairly open mind and intentions but we need to ‘fire all the guns at him’ – First we need it to be known by way of public media ” Simon Bridges” is making this decision for roads only. Its easy to think this is no one actually make a decision and who is in charge but believe me it is him and right now. So if he can be make him first to understand he is making this decision and to start owning the consequence he may start to look at the facts _ Which he is ignoring because they are inconvenient. Second then we can present the facts the common sence is cleary rail

    4. Scott are you aware that only 30% of homes on the North Shore will have access to the new network? More bus routes with proper frequency is what is needed, and this can be done without a lot of capital spending. It’s the same for West and South Auckland, but once we get that number up to 80% and beyond we’ll see some real reduction in traffic congestion. And that will save us a truckload of money both in reduced fuel imports and also on projects such as the harbour road crossing.

      1. That’s completely untrue David. Over 95% of hoes on the North Shore have access to the new network, the coverage is extensive.

        However, perhaps you are confusing yourself with the top tier of Frequent Service? Let’s not forget there is exactly zero frequent service routes on the Shore currently outside of the NEX, so going from 0 to 30% is a huge gain. Likewise with the Connector Service network, very few routes even meet the Connector level, most of which will run every ten or fifteen minutes at peak times.Remember those 15/30 minute headways are the base minimum all day seven days a week, most routes run much more regularly most of the time.

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