Last stand over leaky bus stop

By Sophie Bond


Vivienne Keohane is not standing for re-election to the Kaipatiki Local Board. After 17 years in local government, the Glenfield resident is ready to take it easy. But not before she takes one last stand for a forgotten bus station.

She takes a seat in the new bus station on the eastern side of Glenfield Rd, fuming because the money to complete works on the western side has now disappeared.

We cross the road. It may be school holidays but there are still a dozen people waiting outside McDonald's for a 3.30pm bus. There's room for two to sit in the old shelter; the others mill around by the kerb. It's a sunny day but when the weather is wintry this exposed spot cops all the rain and wind.

Mrs Keohane surveys the commuters and sighs. "They've been ignored for too long and before I go, I want to see a resolution here."

She says expected funding from Auckland Transport for a second, new bus shelter has disappeared from its 10-year-plan. Earlier this month The Aucklander looked at the issue of the proposed Beach Haven Ferry, another victim of Auckland Transport spending cuts.

Mrs Keohane says Glenfield was the last part of the North Shore to get new bus stations and, unfortunately, council amalgamation saw the work stall halfway.

"It was put off until after the elections and then, nothing."

With the new Auckland Council and council controlled organisations in place, the Kaipatiki Local Board was told installation of a second bus station would now be combined with another project: making a double right-hand turn into Kaipatiki Rd from Glenfield Rd. Now that funding is gone.

"I say if they can lump these projects together they can take them apart again. Why should the commuters all have to wait for 10 years?" says Mrs Keohane.

She points directly across the road to where an empty bus shelter sits, redundant since the new station was built. "There's an unused shelter right there. Auckland Transport could at least move that across here as a temporary measure."

But that solution doesn't really satisfy Mrs Keohane, who says the Kaipatiki Local Board has the lowest amount of funding per capita.

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan says the Network Planning team is reviewing the Auckland bus network. "Glenfield Rd will be an important part of the future service network. Glenfield Mall is a significant point for onward connections under the proposed network so the on-street infrastructure needed to support this will be reviewed."

He says the "unused" bus shelter referred to by Mrs Keohane is still in use and cannot be moved.

Mrs Keohane is not amused. "Unless I hear something positive about this bus station I'm going to organise a rates strike. I'm looking into how to set up a trust fund for people who participate in a rates strike.I would like to encourage people to be able to participate and not be penalised.

"I don't want to have to fight this fight, I should be winding up now," she says as she heads off for a board meeting.

A LONG WAIT

Auckland Transport was to have contributed $314,000 towards transport projects in Glenfield. However, in May, it cut funding after a report by the Regional Land Transport Programme hearings panel. The agency needed to cut capital expenditure by 3 per cent until 2014 and 2015, delaying projects across Auckland.

 

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- The Aucklander

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