Yesterday Kiwirail announced a new consultation for two of the three stations they’re planning to build between Papakura and Pukekohe. They previously consulted on this at the beginning of last year with just some very high-level information about station footprints and intended facilities. We also saw some more details in November last year. Those designs have now been refined and with a bit more detail. The stations are expected to start construction next year and be completed by late 2025.
Sadly they do nothing to allay my concerns that these stations are focused on entrenching auto-dependency in these greenfield growth areas – despite all the claims to the contrary.
The Government, through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, has provided funding for three new train stations between Papakura and Pukekohe. The stations, which are expected to be completed in 2025, will be located at Drury Central, Drury West and Paerata. We are currently seeking feedback on Drury Central and Paerata stations.
Planning approvals were granted for Paerata and Drury Central stations in early 2022 and planning approvals are currently being sought for Drury West. To help connect with local residential areas, each of the stations will include a bus interchange, park and ride facilities as well as walking and cycle paths. Up to 350 car parks at each of Drury Central and Paerata stations will be provided and up to 200 car parks at Drury West. The expectation is that people driving to the stations will live throughout a wide area including North Waikato as well as towns and the rural areas to the west and east.
New road accessways will also be developed which will connect the stations with adjacent arterial roads. Waka Kotahi has projects on these arterial roads which will improve access to existing and future residential areas. The three stations are being future proofed to provide for a number of elements including space for additional rail tracks and longer platforms for nine car trains.
We would like to hear your feedback on the road accessway and car park layout for these two stations. We are not seeking feedback on the station buildings or platforms as these elements are built to a design standard and there is no scope for change. We want to know of any problems you see on the designs and any suggestions to improve. You can let us know what problems or suggestions you have on the designs by writing down your point with an arrow indicating what location on the map you are referring to. If you have any other comments, please use the any other comments area on the feedback form.
We are working closely with our Mana Whenua partners on the design of the stations including reflecting the history of the local area in the design of the station buildings. We will continue to work with Mana Whenua partners as we finalise all aspects of the project.
Drury Railway Station (Drury Central)
The station will sit alongside Gt South Rd just south of Wahoehoe Rd.
My big concern with this station is that they seem to have designed to make it as hard as possible to access from the new housing planned for the area unless those residents drive. The park & ride to the east of the station takes up a lot of valuable land, pushing any housing at least a few hundred metres away from the station. A similar impact will be created by the wetland to the south of the station.
While I’m typically not a huge fan of P&R facilities, they do serve a purpose in on the urban fringe to serve nearby rural areas. However, here there are two changes that are needed to help ensure that the priority for access by locals is by bus or active modes:
- The location should be moved to the northern side of Waihoehoe Rd to allow more housing closer to the station. This would still be similar distance to P&R facilities at Glen Eden and Sunnyvale or the far end of the Albany P&R and that certainly doesn’t stop them being used.
- Charging for its use should be a condition for its construction and so should be committed to upfront.
I also wonder if there’s a way to get that bus interchange across to Gt South Rd. It seems odd to have two different sets of bus facilities with the one east of the station likely only useful for serving ‘local rambler’ type routes. Combining the bus interchange facility on Gt South Rd would free up additional land.
One thing notably missing from the design is any footpath on the missing from the design is a footpath on the P&R side of the access road. That is something that was shown in the designs last year, which also had cycleways on either side of the road corridor.
There is some good thing about the plans though, most notably that it appears it’s designed with about 300 bike parks. Though while they stress this design is only indicative and subject to change, it’s a shame they’re not covered. – certainly something to provide some feedback on.
I still find it disappointing just how much this station has moved away from the original vision from the 2019 Drury-Opaheke Structure Plan showing a station surrounded by a plaza and town centre.
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 is the more recent masterplan design we’ve seen but is clearly different from what we’re seeing above. Also it shifted the town centre away from the station and some parking focused big box retail taking prominence.
The Paerātā station plan is also fairly similar to what we saw last year, with the exception of a few extra roundabouts. Here the majority of the housing development is occurring to the Northwest of the station meaning active mode users will have a more direct access to the station than those accessing the P&R which is the way it should be. Though the station could do with some more bike parking on that side.
Longer term it is expected this new road will connect to Sim Rd and given that, I wonder if the road should be slightly closer to the station with bus stops directly over the station and access down to the platform straight from the overbridge – similar to how Park Rd interacts with Grafton Station. That would allow buses to eventually be through-routed instead of looping in and out of the station.
As a reminder, this is the masterplan for the Paerata Rise development and the road above that crosses the rail corridor is the southernmost black line.
Like with Drury, the render suggest more needs to be done to cover the bike racks.
It appears that the terrain will allow for direct access to the station overbridge which is nice and makes me wonder if for both of these stations I also wonder if stations, we could make use of accessibility compliant ramps instead of relying on lifts which not only cost more to operate but have a regular tendency to break down leaving some of the most vulnerable customers stranded. There certainly seems to be enough space at these stations for ramps.
Kiwirail are still working on their plans for the Drury West station which needs planning approval and which one developer is fighting in court as he wants the station moved to primarily benefit his development.
The consultation links can be found here. There’s also some in person and online presentations coming up.
Sunday 27 November 2022 10am-1pm
Rise and Shine Café
(16 Jonah Lomu dr, Paerata)
Sunday 10 December 2022 10am-1pm
Drury Hall, 10 Tui St, Drury
Thursday 1 December 7.30pm-8.30pm
Online presentation with Q&A (The link to this presentation will be live soon.)
Consultation closes 17 December.