One of the projects announced last year as part of the government’s NZ Upgrade Programme was $247 million for two new stations at Drury to support and encourage the sprawl planned for the area – though I’m still not sure how two stations cost that much when the likes of the much bigger upgrade of Puhinui Station is about $70 million.
Exactly where those stations and a third near Paerata will go has been the subject of plenty of debate and for a while it looked like the stations would go odd places such as the middle of a floodplain away from the proposed development. Over time this has slowly gotten a bit better.
At Drury itself, the various private developers are pushing to get development underway, which if happens will also require the council to find over $1 billion for infrastructure ahead of when they had planned to provide it at a time when funding is council funding is already constrained as a result of COVID.
Community feedback from May-June 2020 along with technical investigations have helped refine and confirm the intended station locations. We also heard feedback about how people want to travel to each station and the type of facilities they’d like.
We’ve outlined the intended locations and the facilities we’re proposing for each station below – your feedback will give us more information to help develop the station designs in more detail.
We want to hear your thoughts on each of these stations:
I’ll cover off each of the stations below but one thing that immediately caught my attention was how much now planning for these stations to reinforce auto-dependency and limit the ability to access stations by other modes, or for PT to be useful for anything but trips at the peak, which is completely at odds with their own stated intentions of doing the opposite.
These major projects also seek to provide the future growth areas with travel choices, so they grow in ways that are not highly dependent on private vehicles.
To me it highlights the catch-22 situation Auckland seems to be in. Everyone says they want to drive to stations (and elsewhere) because there’s nowhere where we’ve properly given people a viable alternative, and so we keep designing new and existing places in a way that reinforces that.
The station will be just south of Waihoehoe Rd, between Flanagan and Great South Roads. For the station facilities they say:
You told us that you’d prefer to travel to Drury Central station by car and bus. We’re proposing:
- The station interchange facilities are located south of Waihoehoe Road, east of the existing rail line / Flanagan Road, and immediately to the north-east of the proposed station platforms.
- In the future, a new accessway from Waihoehoe Road to provide access to a large park and ride and pick-up and dropoff facilities with bicycle parking.
- A new bus interchange integrated with the station, to improve public transport connections and providing frequent services along Great South Road.
- A connecting overbridge to provide pedestrian access to the platforms across the tracks from both Great South Road to the west, and the future Drury town centre to the east.
The station location itself isn’t too bad, but it seems it will be separated from most of the housing and other development planned for the area by the massive park and ride they’re planning. It might not look that big here but drawing it’s approximation on a map suggests it could be twice the size of the P&R at Albany so space for over 2000 cars. Anyone wanting to walk or cycle to the station would need get through that.
Given the plans are for this area to be heavily urbanised in the coming decades, such a large P&R is out of place. A smaller facility with demand managed by pricing seems more appropriate and would also allow more land to be used for development. Furthermore, a location not right next to the station, such as just north Waihoehoe Rd between the rail line and Kath Henry Lane might be more appropriate. The distance from there to the station would appear to be less than some other P&R facilities are from their respective stations, such as at Glen Eden and Sunnyvale, or even the far end of the Albany P&R.
As a reminder, this is the development planned for the Drury Town Centre Development.
Compare that and the plans for a massive P&R with this concept image from the Drury-Opaheke Structure Plan of 2019 which appears to show a station opening out onto a plaza surrounded by multi-storey buildings.
All centres should aim to provide for a mix of uses. Figure 3 illustrates a larger conceptual mixed-use centre with apartments, terrace houses, commercial buildings, shops, parks and public transport. Section 3.13 specifies the outcomes expected for these centres
This station is going to be located 450 m south of the existing intersection of of SH22 / Karaka Road and Jesmond Road. This is much better than some of the earlier proposals as will put it closer to the centre of the development planned for the area. For the facilities they say.
You told us that you’d prefer to travel to Drury West station by car or walking and cycling. We’re proposing:
- The station interchange facilities are located between SH22 / Karaka Road and the existing rail line, to the immediate north of the proposed station platforms.
- In the future, a new accessway extending south from the Jesmond Road / SH22 intersection to provide access to park and ride and pick-up and drop-off facilities, a bus interchange, and bicycle parking.
It’s not shown all that clear here but part of the Supporting Growth plan is to extend Jesmond Rd south and over the rail line. As such it’s surprising the station isn’t also integrated with that future rail bridge and instead off on its own.
Most of the development in the area is planned to the north of the station so once again we have the station being accessed only after passing through what appears to be another large P&R which will make access by walking and cycling more difficult.
The station at Paerata will be alongside the under construction Paerata Rise development
You told us that you’d prefer to travel to Paerata station by car or walking and cycling. We’re proposing:
- The station interchange facilities are located between the existing rail line and Sim Road to the south-east of the proposed station platforms.
- In the future, a new accessway from SH22 / Paerata Road to provide access to park and ride and pick-up and drop-off facilities, a bus interchange and bicycle parking. These will be the main facilities and ways people can access the station, especially those from rural areas.
- The new station building includes a connecting overbridge to provide pedestrian access to the platforms from both sides of the tracks
It’s good that the P&R is at least on the other side of where the main development is for this one, though most of the development is also much further north from the station with the Paerata Rise Master plan seeming to have not much development immediately adjacent to the station.
The consultation for these stations and facilities is open until 12 March.