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Panmure Interchange opens

Auckland Transport officially opened the new Panmure transport interchange today. Here’s the press release:

Panmure’s new transport interchange will make life a lot easier for commuters with the walking time between buses and trains now taking less than a minute.

The new bus and train station has been opened today by Mayor Len Brown and Associate Transport Minister, Michael Woodhouse.

“This will be the gateway to Auckland’s newest high frequency busway and is a significant step towards better transport connections for Auckland’s eastern suburbs,” says Mr Brown.

“Our new fast, efficient electric trains start scheduled services within the next few months and I can’t wait to be on the first service to Panmure in August.

“And I know everybody in the east is waiting for the new busway with real anticipation. They’ve been waiting for better public transport links with the rest of Auckland for way too long.”

The $17.5 million interchange allows easy and direct transfers between rail and bus, benefiting those living and working in the area as well as those who travel through Panmure as part of their daily commute.

Associate Minister of Transport, Hon Michael Woodhouse says the opening of the new Panmure Station is an exciting milestone for the first phase of AMETI and builds on extensive Government and Auckland Council investment in the rail network.

“The Government is committed to ongoing improvements to Auckland’s transport network, and addressing issues in the AMETI area is a key focus.”

The interchange is part of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) and its completion marks the first stage of the Southeastern Busway between Panmure, Pakuranga and Botany. The next stage will see the creation of the busway lanes along Lagoon Drive and Pakuranga Road to a new bus station at Pakuranga town centre.

The busway will offer passengers faster and more reliable travel times by freeing buses from traffic congestion. It will better connect people in the area to trains to the city and the south.

Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive Dr David Warburton says the new interchange will become an important transport hub for Auckland and is a significant step towards improving Auckland’s public transport system.

“This is a good example of the progress we’re making in terms of connectivity and faster travel times” says Dr Warburton. “The interchange layout is designed for easy transfers which is also enhanced by the new AT HOP card allowing people to travel seamlessly between public transport modes and operators.”

The NZ Transport Agency is investing $152m in the total AMETI investment to 2015 of $290m, and as a co-funder of the project it says the Panmure Transport Interchange is an example of its strategy to give people with more travel choices.

“A great facility like this is one part of a much bigger transport picture for Auckland,” says the Transport Agency’s Regional Manager for Planning and Investment, Peter Casey.  “Encouraging greater use of public transport – and other facilities for those who walk and cycle – provides more travel options and helps ease congestion on our busy motorways and roads so that journeys for people and freight become safer and more reliable.

Mr Casey says the Prime Minister last year identified AMETI as part of the Government’s programme of transport projects to be accelerated in Auckland.

“The Transport Agency invests hundreds of millions of transport dollars in Auckland and this new interchange and the AMETI project as a whole is a great example of where we team up to work co-operatively and successfully with Auckland Transport and Auckland Council to grow infrastructure that is a key to the city’s growth. “

Panmure is currently one of the busiest rail stations in the region with approximately 1700 passengers per day. It has grown rapidly since 2003 when it was used by less than 100 passengers per day.

Features include a new central pedestrian plaza linking both sides of the rail tracks, two lifts, escalators to both platforms and four sets of stairs at the main access points. Ticket machines have been installed on both platforms with a staffed ticket office on the ground floor.

AMETI is Auckland Transport’s largest construction project which on completion will see the delivery of the first major infrastructure in the area for a number of years. This major project will see an integrated approach to improving transport- with work on roads, public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure.

The next stage of the project will unlock further benefits for transport in the area once the Panmure roundabout is removed and a busway from Panmure to Pakuranga town centre is built.

The NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Council are major funders of AMETI.

I went along to see how the station was looking – and it was looking really good, far better than the earlier renders.

The main entrance to the station, the busway stations are just to the right of the image.

Panmure Station 1

The station building from down on the platforms.

Panmure Station 2

I like how wide the citybound platform is, clearly designed with the expectation that lots of people will be using it which is nice to see.

Panmure Station 3

Inside the station the wood panelling you can see on the outside is carried through. I quite liked the artwork on the ceiling. The area inside was also quite spacious.

Panmure Station 4

Soon buses will start using this dedicated piece of busway and these stops. The shelters weren’t quite finished but I’m sure they will be soon.

Panmure Station 5

Lastly there were a couple of empty sites alongside the station like this one that were previously being used for construction yards. They would made great sites for some apartment buildings with ground floor retail (Unitary Plan allows for up to 6 storeys subject to view shafts of the mountain).

Panmure Station 6

All up the station is an excellent addition to the network and the number of people passing through it should really take off once integrated fares and the new bus network is in place.

58 comments to Panmure Interchange opens

  • Exaucklanderinsydney

    Very nice if I do say so myself. I especially like the lights inside and the overall modern look of it.

  • Bryce P

    What’s bike access from around the area like?

    • Greg N

      Bike access is ok from Mountain Road and Forge Ways,
      Mountain Road birrge is where the bike racks are to be found (staples/hoops fixed into the concrete).

      I don’;t know if the busway itself will allow bikes to use it (I assume not).
      And other than possibly including the busway there is no “dedicated” cycleways (painted or otherwise) there I could see.

      Speeches from Brown and the Minister talked about pedestrian and cycling access improvments in that order (at the end of the list of modes, which predictably started with car, then bus and then train, then “walking and cycling” with the “walking and cycling” bit said so quickly its like its a mantra with no meaning to those who utter it).

      Pedestrian access around the interchange is good, and will be much better once they remove Panmure Roundabout finally.as that is a big severance to the rest of Panmure right now as it has ever been.

      But make no mistake this is built as a Bus and Train interchange, with about 60 Park and Ride parks and some Kiss And Ride on the side.

      • TheBigWheel

        “Bike access is OK from Mountain Road..” True, in that it’s a road, and you’re legally allowed to ride on it. But there’s nothing specifically for bikes, like no cycle lanes.

        And I wouldn’t like to leave my bike out on those racks, remote and uncovered. Already the bridge itself has been vandalised, with several of the toughened glass panels smashed.

        You’re dead right, Greg, “walking and cycling” is a meaningless mantra to AT.

        It would be generous even to credit AT’s consideration of “walking and cycling” as an afterthought. It is really nothing.

        • Greg N

          I did leave my bike on those racks – but there a security guard nearby so it seemed ok to do so.
          But you are right, my first thought was a pretty good place for thieves to visit out of the way like that and out of view from anywhere but people driving past on Mountain Road..

          I also wondered after I’d been there how easy it would be to get any bike to/from the platforms.

          Sure they have stairs, escalators and a lift on each side, but the lift is pretty small and the stairs don’t even have bike wheel wells in them.
          Even though the actual height and design of the stairs to.from the platforms is basically the same as the Pt Resolution bridge steps, which do have nice wheel wells on one side and work well as I’ve used them.

          These little things show how out of touch AT really is. These don’t cost much to do, yet lack of them cheapens all of AT and dilutes their messages.

          Actually I can’t see where the $17m they touted today was spent. Most of it putting the AMETI road through rather than the station or bus interchange I expect and also buying up land/buildings to allow the sorting out of Panmure Roundabout.

  • Luke Christensen

    Good potential once the roundabout is sorted. Some good greenways around the Pakuranga coastline. Once the Panmure side sorted will become attractive to cycle to Panmure from further east. Great way to increase patronage without using up valuable land for Park and Ride.

  • Tamaki

    Pedestrian access from Ireland rd looks like it is still a pain. No tunnel under the new bridge, no overhead walkway, can’t see a zebra crossing either over a very busy ep highway.

    • Loraxus

      Ped access will only exist via signalised crossings at Forge Way and the roundabout (once that changes to signals). I agree it would have been nice to have had ped access through the tunnel, but they probably felt that that added rather than improved safety issues?

      Best walking route from southern part of Ireland Road will be via the upgraded pedestrian bridge at William Harvey Place and the shared path along the new AMETI Road once all that is done. Though that is already about 500m before one even starts getting to houses, so probably more suited for cycling than walking.

      • Tamaki

        That’s a really circuitous route via William Harvey place.
        Unfortunately, people coming from Ireland, cleary, south side of agoon, and via the panmure basin walkway will all cotinue to play frogger over the ep highway.

      • Greg N

        Considering about 1/3rd of the Rail Platforms are under the bridge (aka “Tunnel”), adding walking access from the southern side of EP highway wouldn’t be too dangerous.
        The station platforms are not gated, so theres no revenue impact of letting people directly onto the Platform this way either.

        Supposedly there is going to be a Cycle way up to EP highway from AMETI Road for all those who don’t want to go “through” the traffic sewer AMETI road will be as it runs beside the train station. So there maybe some kind of ped access as well.

  • Loraxus

    One question I would have is whether the station areas will get a bit moree green? Looks all very concrete-y? But that may just be the early state?

  • Greg N

    I was there for the speeches, along with Cameron Slater and his Duck calling whistle, which he used to make “quack quack” sounds as and when Len Brown spoke,.and two other protesters.
    All protesting against Brown and his antics.

    However ,there were some information Brown gave in his speech relevant to EMUs/Electrification and the East/West Highway.

    1. EMUs on Onehunga line first, expected to be in April “or sooner”.

    2. Panmure/Eastern line gets EMUs in August/September

    While there and on the way back from there I checked the electrification progress – some masts up as far as Panmure (from GI direction – nothing going towards Sylvia Park yet), & no wires or anything at Panmure

    At GI, all masts are up and the one (non conducting) wire run in each direction only – catenary wire? No electric wires to be seen this side of St Johns tunnel from GI Station yet..

    So given the Eastern line is basically back and fully operational from Monday (at least during weekdays), maybe they’ll need until August to actually get the Eastern line electrification completed given this rate of progress?

    Brown also mentioned the population growth in the area saying 40,000 jobs are planned for the GI/Tamaki/Panmure area, which when the families are included and their housing that would mean quite a lot of growth in this area is coming. He said that council has done a lot of work in New Lynn, Manukau and now it was the Panmure areas turn to get the work done on it.
    He said the Panmure busway will eventually carry more people to and from Pakuranga and Howick etc than the volume of people the Northern Busway does now.

    And no mention of CRL that I heard from anyone – probably him trying to be nice to all the National Party Politicians present.

    Brown also mentioned the East/West Highway saying how the opening of Panmure interchange, plus growth in the Panmure/Tamaki/GI area will mean that the East/West link is very important and the interchange will be a driver for this. He mentioned how the road through the Mangere area was off the table.

    But I almost got the impression from what he said that the East/West road was about to be put through to Onehunga directly from Panmure. – probably by extending the AMETI Road west to Onehunga.

    So there you have it. An unfinished train and bus station is opened without trains or buses being able to use it and quite a lot of work is needed to get it ready for both.
    Plus the AMETI busway down Panmure Lagoon Drive is only just on the drawing board, so this interchange won’t be at its full potential yet.
    And Panmure Roundabout removal to allow the busway to actually work as designed is still yet to happen.

    • Bryce P

      I’d love to see how they’ve forecast 40k jobs.

    • obi

      “And no mention of CRL that I heard from anyone – probably him trying to be nice to all the National Party Politicians present.”

      National has announced government support for the tunnel. The hold up at the moment is that Auckland Council need to sort out their half of the funding. Brown promised to do this by the end of last year, but hasn’t delivered. Maybe he has been busy doing something with a higher priority?

      • Nick R

        The 2014 Integrated Transport Programme will be finalised in the first part of the year, I imagine you’ll hear nothing on funding of any projects until that due process is complete.

      • Bryce P

        Which is difficult as NZTA now control how Auckland Transport get to spend the bulk of their funding. How convenient.

      • obi

        “Which is difficult as NZTA now control how Auckland Transport get to spend the bulk of their funding. How convenient.”

        NZTA can’t fund the CRL… they just don’t have the income required. It needs the Council to come to the table, which is actually very convenient since it was the Mayor who promised to build the CRL. And rail to the airport and across the harbour to Albany, but I think we’re supposed to have forgotten about those promises.

        • obi

          Oops… “NZTA can’t fund the CRL” should read “Auckland Transport can’t fund the CRL”.

          • conan

            NZTA certainly could afford to fund it, however its political masters have dictated that its capex goes on roading projects only.

          • obi

            “however its political masters have dictated that its capex goes on roading projects only”

            …except for the bus and rail projects they’re also funding, including the CRL.

            But ignoring that, if you want local Auckland projects funded entirely from central government then there isn’t much room for Auckland council organisations or local politicians. There would just be one monolithic transport department responsible for the entire country. Is your footpath in Auckland looking a bit dodgy?… Ring Wellington and they’ll put you in the queue for a repair. Don’t like bus timetable in Invercargill?… Public servants in Wellington will sort that out for you too. It’ll be like when Muldoon personally decided what brand of engines would be installed on Air NZ jets.

            Personally, I quite like devolved government. But you see people here complaining about NZTA not funding footpaths and cyclepaths, so I guess there are plenty of big centralised government supporters.

          • conan

            You mean the $115m they are spending in the 3 years 2013-2015? That’s one motorway interchange.

            There is no specifics from the government on which organisation is funding the CRL.

            Our major roading projects are dictated to centrally currently. Are you suggesting they shouldn’t be and this funding should be provided to AT to distribute?

            To me the current issue is with a major transport funding organisation that is blinkered in providing the best and most cost effective solution to each issue its faced as it must build roads.

          • Bryce P

            We complain about AT not funding cycle paths and their hands are partially tied in that they are only allowed to spend their portion of NZTA funds on projects as defined by NZTA (of which ratios are set by govt). They can spend income from AC on what they want (as I understand it).

          • obi

            “Our major roading projects are dictated to centrally currently. Are you suggesting they shouldn’t be and this funding should be provided to AT to distribute?”

            In an ideal world, I think central government should completely fund the national infrastructure projects that aren’t able to fund themselves. This would include state highways, long distance rail infrastructure, the national electricity grid, and a national telecom network. Although most of these are self funding to a large extend via fuel tax, rail freight charges, and electricity and phone bills. Councils should completely fund local infrastructure projects that aren’t able to fund themselves. Like local roads and commuter rail. Obviously commuter rail is partially funded by fares.

            Currently, local roads are partially funded by councils and partially by fuel tax. That seems reasonable. I’d be in favour of councils being given their share of fuel tax to fund local roads of their choice, without needing central government approval. I’m not in favour of central government being given funding intended for national infrastructure and allowing them to use it how they wish. The point about national networks such as state highways, long distance roads, the electricity grid, the telecom backbone, national air traffic management, etc is they they should be centrally designed and managed.

            That should be clear. To give examples… The CRL is an Auckland project. It should be paid for out of fares and whatever mechanism the Council thinks is going to have local support, such as rates or sale of assets. Puhoi to Wellsford is a state highway and if central government wants to upgrade it then they can go ahead and pay for it. Auckland Council should be given Auckland’s share of fuel taxes and it should be up to the Council whether they built AMETI, or built cycle paths all over the city.

          • Bryce P

            Agree that Auckland should be given it’s share of transport revenue. I don’t agree that Puhoi to Warkworth is any more significant for the nation as a whole. The promises of benefits to Northland are grossly overstated.

          • Bryce P

            Let us not forget that Auckland nearly had it’s own funding provisions in place just a few years ago.

          • Luke C

            ridiculous simplification. Bet 95% of the traffic on Auckland motorways in Auckland traffic, and over 99% will have destination or origin in Auckland.
            Therefore can’t just pretend the modes can’t be complementary.
            NZTA should be thinking outside the box about transport and state highway capacity. Best way to make SH efficient is by freeing it up for people that need to use it, and best way to do that is invest in PT, and in Auckland that means CRL.

          • Obi, the CRL is no more only in one place than any road. No logic to your view at all. Anyway let’s do some math:

            If the taxpayer pays 50% of any project in Auckland and AK ratepayers the rest how does that actually shakedown as Ak is of course the home to at least 1/3 of all NZ taxpayers?

            Aucklanders pay 50% directly plus 1/3 of the other 50% so in practice around 66.5%. Whereas for some highway through godknowswhere Aucklanders will be paying 33% of that as we do for every statehighway and locals 0.000001%.

            Big bad Auckland.

        • Loraxus

          “NZTA can’t fund the CRL… they just don’t have the income required”

          Gosh, of course they can’t. They are spending all our money, and the money of our kids on massively oversized motorways all over the country. Don’t make their PR for them, obi – the CRL cost is in not higher than the kind of project this government announces one or two more of on a basically annual basis for roads.

    • Brown also mentioned the population growth in the area saying 40,000 jobs are planned for the GI/Tamaki/Panmure area, which when the families are included and their housing that would mean quite a lot of growth in this area is coming. He said that council has done a lot of work in New Lynn, Manukau and now it was the Panmure areas turn to get the work done on it.

      Okay we sure that was not a misprint and meant to be 4,000 jobs for the area? The nearest Metropolitan Centres are Botany, Manukau and Newmarket (Sylvia Park does not count) with the nearest heavy industry in Penrose. The Town Centres will not generate much per-se in the area and there is certainly not a lot of light industrial zoning as well.

      As for New Lynn and Manukau; I love to know how the Mayor came to that conclusion. New Lynn might be “finished” for now but Manukau has only just started with plenty of projects in the current pipeline (and more being pushed for). Davis Avenue, Manukau Transport Interchange, MIT, Te Papa North, Hayman Park are just some of the current projects “on the books.” The Mayor must have a short memory after the public criticism he got in the Auckland Development Committee last November over the failing Southern Initiative — grrr :-|

      • Greg N

        I heard him say 40,000 new jobs.

        Now you’d think the MSM would have put up somewhere the full video of the speeches as they were all there, and none of the protestors were quaking or shouting either from Slater et al so nothing else to point the cameras at but Brown.

        I believe AT had a camera crew there too filming the big day.

        • Why cover the speeches when the MSM can pander to their core ratings base and film the protesters instead.

          I believe you when Brown said 40,000 jobs but that seems badly out of place for the area. Might follow up with the Comms team tomorrow

          • 40,000 new jobs is likely to be the whole GI/Mt Wellington/East Tamaki/Pakuranga/Botany area i.e. anything close to AMETI and East-West Link. Not that inconceivable

          • That seems more like it Matt and as you said – conceivable

          • Tamaki

            That 40k figure might be from back in the day when the tamaki campus was going to be a science and technology hub. The AMETI link road was therefore planned to be for ‘local’ traffic, ie the assumption is that there will be lots of jobs in GI for the easterners to travel to, and they won’t just be rat running through the eastern bays to get to the city when they get to Merton rd. after the uni moving to Newmarket they may need to review that.

    • He said the Panmure busway will eventually carry more people to and from Pakuranga and Howick etc than the volume of people the Northern Busway does now.

      Meant to comment on this earlier. No it won’t carry more than the northern busway. Unfortunately people compare the AMETI busway projections against the Northern Express patronage but the NEX is only a fraction of the total patronage on the busway. I’ve heard figures the real total is up at 6-8 million per year (AMETI busway is projected at 5.5m)

  • Patrick R

    I was there too, and do find how the herald and the rest of the gossip obsessed MSM could only see a couple bores failing to interrupt proceedings and not the Interchange Station itself very funny.

    The CRL was mentioned by Associate Minister Woodhouse in his speach, with a 2020 start date. I had a long talk with him afterwards as Matt and I met him last year when we presented the CFN to him and I think it is fair to say that his attitude has clearly shifted for the better since that first meeting.

    Increasingly I think a new consensus around urban transport priorities may not be so distant after all. We’re not there yet by any stretch, but we are a lot closer than we were even a year ago.

    • John Polkinghorne

      Great to hear!

    • Rob Mayo

      Yes. I was at the opening and also noted the miniscule protest against Len Brown. It was so miniscule it was laughable and then to see in the Herald afterwards that day, how much it was blown up in stature was rather odd….and today (Sunday) the Herald blow the other way with this: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/national/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=140311

      • conan

        At least TV3 news last night mentioned there were just 2 protestors. Didn’t mention Cameron Slater though, I guess ‘journalists’ like to stick up for each other.

    • Greg N

      I had to bail about 11:25 so probably missed that part about the CRL in the Ministers speech. I went back later for a closer inspection though after the crowds had dissipated quite a bit.

      But the undertext to Browns comments on East/West route still jangle a little, as it seems to me that “The game is afoot” as Sherlock Holmes would say.

      I just hope its not one where we are fed deliberate misinformation to make us look in the wrong direction while some Sleight of Hand is pulled in the other.

      As for the Minister warming up on CFN, thats good to hear, but he is only the Associate Minister not the actual Minister, so is likely to be moved on to another portfolio post election, while the aforesaid Minister Brownlee stays put.

      This sort of stuff is one of those things where you need to know the organ grinder, not the monkey I’m afraid.

  • patrick

    Thanks for the photos Matt. I’m guessing the new road beside the station is not finished
    yet, was there any indication when that would open?

    • Seemed finished to me. That’s what the blow up kids things are on in the last photo.

      • patrick

        Hi Matt
        I was meaning the new road that will connect Mt Welllington highway with Glenn Innes, it runs beside the railway line.

        • Greg N

          That AMETI Road and it runs underneath the station roads, (at rail platform level).

          From looking from the northern (Morrin Road) end, its got a ways to go, the road path there is formed and the retaining wall at the Morrin Road end is built so the road will cross Morrin Road beside the Morrin Road overbridge “at grade”.

          But the road bed is still being built. Then it will be sealed, so I don’t know how far to go – at least 3 months I’d expect – for the northern end.

          As for the southern end (that runs underneath EP Highway and joins to Mt Wellington Highway near Van Dammes Lagoon, about the same, possibly longer.

          I think it’ll be a race between KR and HILOR on the completion of electrification of the Eastern Line and the completion of AMETI road
          - both are taking longer than you’d have expected.

  • Does anyone know if the area in yellow is part of a railway corridor designation?

    http://imageshack.com/a/img823/2983/1gb5.png

  • Darren

    what? no photo ops with gerry and john key,oh that must be only for the new motorways that get opened.

  • Anthony McBride

    Forgive me if I missed this….But when does the platforms start being used? :)

    A absolutely love the look of the new station too. What’s the next big station project? =P

  • Mike

    I’m guessing that MSM means mainstream media, or something like that? Never come across that abbreviation before – I clearly need to get out more often.

  • Sam

    “Panmure’s new transport interchange will make life a lot easier for commuters with the walking time between buses and trains now taking less than a minute.”

    This indicates that the new bus stops are now in use outside the station – is anyone able to confirm this? I plan to change my route home each day once I can catch an Ellerslie-Panmure bus from the interchange.

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