Te Atatu ferry could ease traffic
A ferry service from Te Atatu to downtown Auckland could ease traffic headaches for West Aucklanders, Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford says.
Mayor Len Brown has said the council has been investigating ferry services and the Te Atatu Peninsula route is ''a particularly good option''.
The 11km trip would take about 30 minutes and Twyford believes a terminal could be built at the Te Atatu boat club for $3.2 million, with costs of $350,000 a year to run.
The ferry is part of Twyford's bigger plan to improve public transport in West Auckland, including a busway along the northwestern motorway.
''If this ferry terminal does get done it would mean people don't have to sit on the motorway with the sun in their eyes,"he said. "They can read the paper and enjoy one of the most beautiful harbours in the world."
Twyford presented the plans to a meeting of the Te Atatu Residents and Ratepayers Association on August 13. The idea is based on a 2005 study commissioned by the Auckland Regional Council which looked at ways of expanding the city's ferry service.
''Te Atatu was found to be a highly favourable location for a ferry. In fact it was seen as more favourable than Hobsonville which will be getting a ferry service. It will never solve all of the traffic problems but it will make a difference,'' he said.
Association secretary Josephine Fullerton-Coles said feedback from the meeting was positive.
''I think this is an awesome opportunity for the community... based on our population and the need for more transport I think the service would be very well utilised. The biggest problem facing the plan is working out suitable access to the terminal,'' she said.
Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said a Te Atatu ferry service was not a priority but could be possible in the future.
''A more feasible option may be to improve bus services using SH16 bus lanes and eventually provide a busway that would offer greater capacity per trip,'' he said.
Te Atatu South resident Chris Geddes attended the meeting and was surprised at the lack of consultation.
''I am a resident here and I'm also a member of the Te Atatu Boat Club and this was the first time we had heard about plans to build a ferry building at our club. I think if it was done properly it could work but everyone's going to really have to up their game and get organised. At the end of the day we are the poor beggars who are going to have to put our hands in our pockets and pay for it.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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