Railway station upgrade wakes the neighbours


Contractors proved too keen to start work on a $9 million upgrade of Mt Albert's run-down railway station for the comfort of neighbours woken rudely on Saturday morning.


"It is an extremely poor customer experience to be woken by extremely noisy demolition works at 6.30am on a Saturday morning," apartment resident Nicola Bond wrote in an email to Auckland Mayor Len Brown's office.


Although appreciating that the upgrade needed to occur while trains were not running, she said the station was in front of a block of 40 townhouses called Willcott Mews, many of them home to young children.


"Works such as concrete cutting should wait until 8am or 9am in the morning on the weekend," she told the mayor's staff.


Ms Bond, a resident of Willcott Mews next to a walkway to the railway station, said she was also angry at not being contacted by the works project team and having the entrance to the townhouses blocked by contractors' trucks.


Auckland Transport spokeswoman Sharon Hunter, whose organisation received subsidy approval only last month from the Government's Transport Agency for the $8.8 million upgrade, said last night the contractors would be told not to block driveways.


The project, due to be completed by the end of summer, will include upgrading the station's platform with canopies and replacing its main foot-bridge entrance from Carrington Rd with a new structure including a lift and stairs.


It is understood the structure has been future-proofed to connect with a potential new pedestrian plaza over the railway tracks to join New North Rd as part of a wider urban renewal project.


But an underpass further to the west from New North Rd will be upgraded later in the project, after serving as the station's temporary main entrance until the footbridge from Carrington Rd is replaced.


Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes said he understood the "third world" station was the last of the 40 or so on Auckland's railway network to be upgraded, and the project could not come soon enough.


He was disappointed only that it was not more ambitious.

- The Aucklander

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 25 Oct 2014 04:23:29 Processing Time: 302ms