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Panmure Station opening – but missing key parts

When trains finally start running again after the Christmas shut-down (which is hopefully the last one) one of the changes will be that the Panmure Station will have been completed. The station upgrade has been going on for many months now and thankfully is almost complete. To celebrate this Auckland Transport will be holding an open day a few days earlier. Here are the details.

Panmure Station Opening

I was also out this way a few days ago so quickly grabbed a few photos of the progress and I must say, things are looking very good. Much better than how the earlier renders looked. I really like the wood panelling on the roof.

Panmure Station 1

I think the upgraded station will be great and an excellent addition to our PT network however there is one major concern with that has been raised by Cycle Action Auckland. It is that the cycle parking has been dropped off the list after the project costs blew out in other areas.

Work is progressing well on the new train and bus station at Panmure. It’s looking really smart and will be a strategic element in the wider transport choice coming from the AMETI project. We can’t wait to see the safer dedicated cycling routes, which will help address the paucity of non-car transport options that have plagued the eastern sector of Auckland for years.

Given this scenario, imagine our disbelief when we heard that all these good moves are progressing without providing for bike parking at the Panmure station. We asked AT back in April what bike parking was planned; this caused a scurry of internal emails amongst the project team, but no response to Cycle Action. We stayed on the topic, and learnt 2 months ago the project budget had blown out, leaving no money for bike parking. We’ve been assured it will come eventually – “Can’t tell you when – the station will open without it” . Great! – Top marks for integrated transport delivery, AT!

Bike parking is a seriously neglected item in the menu of PT and active transport improvements happening across Auckland. We’re very excited by the electric trains starting early next year. We’ve spent time up on the Northern Busway, which is one of Auckland’s great transport successes, and we love the train station upgrades that are transforming the suburban centres. It’s a great shame with all this investment that Auckland Transport simply doesn’t ‘get’ the fact that cycling has a role in making it easier for people to access and use PT

This is a serious issue and something Auckland Transport need to address quickly, especially given there are not one but two carparks so that people are able to drive to the station. Improving walking and cycling access to all stations is something that Auckland Transport should be focusing on as a top priority.

Come-on AT, get this sorted.

31 comments to Panmure Station opening – but missing key parts

  • Fred

    Bloody hopeless. Trust AT to ruin a good news story!

  • Peter

    At least it was planned for unlike at Mt Albert whose huge platform could have easily accommodated a couple of these new cages but what did they
    do instead? OFFSITE lollipop pads – one of them is on a I:6 slope(!!) at the end of a legal road – dozens of metres from the platform and in the case of the other pad, completely out of public view. Couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery.

    • Peter

      Actually the stands aren’t lollipops but those equally nasty giant stainless steel fence staple things.

    • Make It Go

      Cut AT some slack at Mount Albert folks. Its on a list of stations to be gated in the next few years, thus a cycle cage can’t be put on-platform. A cage is supposed to go in as part of phase 2 of the station build work which should get underway mid-late 2014. AT are considering putting the cage in the area next to New North Road that’s earmarked for a bridge connection to the station concourse. They are investigating putting in better cycle parking facilities at Willcott Street and in the alleyway connection between the station and NNR. The Sheffields currently installed at Willcott St are a temporary measure.

      As for Panmure, it is unfortunate that budget over-run prevented the cycle cage going in on Day One. No doubt AT will be looking for budget in either this FY or next to remedy this, as Panmure is an interchange station and AT do recognise the necessity of having secure cycle parking facilities at such stations.

  • Perhaps if enough people turn up via cycling (as the flyer asks) and a stream of them are asking the officials where they should park their bikes they might get the message about it being needed….

  • Jeff H

    Gosh – how hard can it be?

  • ejtma

    The irony is that a new train station is being opened and you can’t catch the train to it. Typical AT.

    • Greg N

      My first thought too.

      Looks like the electrification is still going to be in progress during this time from Panmure to Britomart so the only option on the Eastern line from Slyvia park will be Rail buses..

      But if you can’t open it 1 week later AT when everything is supposed to be fully operational, then at least can you park an EMU at the station for people to look at?

      After all once you’ve been down the stairs and up the escalator once you’ve done the station so what else is there to do on the open day?

      • Patrick Reynolds

        At the very least. Or why not open the station when it is er, actually open for biz?

        • Steve D

          Well, you’d hope to “open” the station by running the first revenue train through… so you wouldn’t be able to get there for the opening by train anyway. But opening it two days before it can be used? What’s the thinking, there?

      • Good idea, with the block of line they could tow an EMU set in to the new station for the public to inspect, and leave it there all day without an issue.

  • Sailor Boy

    If there’s 2 Carpark buildings then surely the closest 5 carparks to the platform can be made into bike parking?

    • Max

      Issue wasn’t the space – they apparently felt they hadn’t got any money in budget left for weather shelter and some u-bar racks, let alone secure cycle cages.

      • Sailor Boy

        What money? Few grand to bolt down the steel frames… please

        • TimR

          Sounds like time for some unbudgeted expenditure. After all, if Len can sign off $60m unbudgeted to buy Colin Maiden Park from the University as announced this week, surely AT can sign off a few thousand for bike parking…? Somebody just sign the damned form please.

          • bbc

            How about some of that $100 million they will be using to subsidide the operation of their carparking buildings next year, I’m sure that would cover the cost of a couple of bike racks, perhaps more than two, but who knows I’m no mathematician.

  • ejtma

    Maybe they can use the money Len will repay for the report into his indiscretions and forgetfulness.

  • exaucklanderinsydney

    Seriously how much could it cost to cater for bikes?! A few thousand dollars? That’s pennies in the scheme of things. No money, puh-lease! Can’t believe it.
    At least be honest and give the real reason AT

    • Sailor Boy

      But it is unpc to openly say that you want all cyclists to die

    • bbc

      Reality is car parking and widening of roads takes priority over any sort of cycle infrastructure, that’s the way it is in Auckland, and Auckland Transport are unashamedly anti-cyclists.

      • That is a little unfair. I can tell you that through CAA I have come across people, especially junior staff, who are hugely dedicated to promoting cycling and Lester Levy is genuine. Apparently the main problem sits with older middle management who think cycles are just toys for children and a few MAMILs (Middle Aged Men in Lycra).

  • I’m going to blame the Project Manager and the QS for this cock-up – on every project there is always pressure on the budget at some stage, and often it is things seen as “non-essential” that get the chop. Normally things like landscaping, and unfortunately never things like mechanical services (which are normally the bit to have increased dramatically in cost). But the PM / QS need to understand that services for cycling lie at the centre of a “transport interchange” and are hence highly important and need to be prioritized. Can you imagine a rail station in Holland forgetting to put the bike stands in? No…..

  • Ian Auld

    That is a real shame. Tamaki is the perfect area to promote cycling – PT interchanges. The suburban streets in the area are all relatively wide and flat, meaning it is very easy to cycle around, and it is a low income area where people would really benefit from having a low cost transport option. A lot of kids and teens also use public transport in this area to get to and from school (with AGGs, Sacred Heart, Kings and De La Salle students all commonly travelling by train). I really think that the Tamaki area is the perfect place to roll out a pilot suburban cycle network. However, unfortunately, security is also a major issue in the area, so having a secure place to store bikes is key to encouraging people to cycle and leave their bikes at the station. I live in GI and train into the city for work. I would love to ride my bike to the station, but there really isn’t anywhere to securely store my bike for the day (except for about 6 indicvidual bike lockers which cost $$$ to use) so I walk. C’mon AT, this would be a simple and relatively low cost initiative that would have a demonstrable impact for a low income area of Auckland. Perhaps this could be something that he Tamaki Transformation programme could consider promoting and / or investing in.

    • TheBigWheel

      “the Tamaki area is the perfect place to roll out a pilot suburban cycle network” I second that. And now is the perfect time to plan for it. For all the reasons you state, plus…

      - the major SHA development in the area
      - the Colin Maiden Park / University Tamaki campus move
      - the AMETI cycle lane content (fully segregated lanes north-south from Panmure Station and east)
      - the Tamaki to Hobson cycle highway
      - …..and (just maybe?!) the attractive secure bike storage that will surely be built at the new Panmure Station once we knock some heads together

  • Barb Cuthbert

    Thanks for all these comments – and to Transport Blog for adding strength to our call to AT to give priority to bike parking at Transport nodes. I dream of the day when AT’s actions show it show they understand that one of the multiple benefits of cycling is that it extends the reach and flexibility of PT.

    It’s year 4 of AT so we don’t want any more ‘legacy’ excuses to justify the fact that every cycling infrastructure project is many months and even years behind schedule, as well as virtually every initiative Cycle Action has proposed to Community Transport since we began working with them on behalf of Auckland’s cycling community.

    We have been assured by the key people in the building and operations teams that organisational changes have been made to improve delivery.They have new personnel on board, and more internal changes are coming next year.

    it’s Xmas, so let’s hope for a fresh start in 2014.

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