I popped down to Manukau today to have a look through the station with the open day that AT held, here are my thoughts and some photos.
The main entrance is through a few shipping containers, not the most elegant but understandable considering there is a building being built over the station at the moment.
There are currently two ways to get down to the platform, as you can see everything is still very much a work in progress compared to what it should eventually look like on the right.
And here’s another view from the platform level, the escalators must be going in at a later date (the free sausage sizzle was nice although sadly I don’t think that it is a permanent feature)
Here is a view from the other end of the platform looking back towards the main set of stairs. One thing I was pleased with was that the shelters extended almost all of the way down the platform, only the part in the foreground of the right image was uncovered. A train was also put on doing runs back and forth along the line to Puhinui Station but one thing I couldn’t understand was why they put on they did it with one of the oldest and noisiest trains in the fleet, surely an SA set would have been a better look.
Now for my criticisms, as the picture below shows, at the bottom of the stairs there is an open area similar to Britomart. This means that if we ever woke up to idea of extending the line towards Botany we would probably be prevented from doing so due to the station design, at the very least it would be incredibly costly to fix this issue meaning it is likely to never be able to happen.
The other main concern is something I have raised before and that is the location, this is the image that greets people when they exit the station, a sea of carparks. Those carparks should eventually be redeveloped but who knows how many years away that will be.
While out there I also popped up the road to the other major AT project happening in the area at the moment, something I have heard described as the biggest PT project after the electrification works. This is the first of two multi story carparks that are being built which is intended to allow for the land in the image above to be released for development. I can understand the strategy and agree that it is better in a building than spread out at ground level but I am concerned that if the ground level parking is not removed as soon as this opens it will become expected that this is just in addition to what exists now. The problem would be than when redevelopment occurs locals will expect even more parking to be replaced. AT have also talked about some of the space in this building being used as a Park n Ride and setting aside the issue of having a Park n Ride in a built up area like this, the building is about 250m away from the station. While not that far to walk, that time has to be added to the rest of the journey time which would probably make it easier just to stay in the car and drive all of the way.
And here is an image which shows the car park in relation to the station.