Residents of Beach Haven and neighbouring North Shore suburbs are in line for a Waitemata Harbour ferry service, after years of waiting.
Auckland Transport yesterday decided to revise its budget so ferries can call at Beach Haven in conjunction with a new service early next year between Hobsonville and the city centre.
The council body had already committed itself to pay 80 per cent of a $2.85 million ferry terminal at Hobsonville for completion by Christmas. Developers of a new suburb on the former naval base peninsula will pay the balance to ensure it becomes an attractive marine gateway.
But it was only yesterday, after strong lobbying from the Kaipatiki Local Board, that Auckland Transport decided to spend about $1.35 million this financial year to rescue a Beach Haven service from the outer reaches of its long-term fundingplan.
That would provide a two-stage gangway with a canopy and "runway" lighting to a floating pontoon, supported by guiding piles, the organisation said last night.
Board member Richard Hills welcomed the decision as exciting and logical, saying the new service would have a large catchment of passengers reaching across the Kaipatiki Bridge to Glenfield and beyond, taking cars off the heavily congested commuter route down Onewa Rd to the motorway.
Parking arrangements have yet to be made, and Auckland Transport board member Mike Williams told his colleagues that feeder buses would be needed to carry passengers to andfrom an upgraded Beach Havenwharf.
Although a Beach Haven ferry service has been discussed for years, the Kaipatiki board was dismayed to find in June that it was unlikely to start before 2017 under Auckland Transport's long-term plan.
But that organisation's chief infrastructure officer, Kevin Doherty, said yesterday that his board had decided to allocate funds surplus from elsewhere in its budget to bring the project forward, capitalising on the nearby Hobsonville development.
* Waitemata Harbour ferry service to Hobsonville will call at Beach Haven as well.
* $2.85m to be spent by Auckland Transport and developers on ferry terminal for Hobsonville.
* $1.35m from Auckland Transport to provide a floating pontoon and gangway at Beach Haven wharf.