$12.5M upgrade sought for 'worst' ferry terminal on Auckland's North Shore

The portable building which serves as the passenger waiting area at Bayswater ferry terminal, on Auckland's North Shore.
TOM DILLANE/FAIRFAX NZ

The portable building which serves as the passenger waiting area at Bayswater ferry terminal, on Auckland's North Shore.

The most direct public transport connection between Auckland's North Shore and the CBD, the Bayswater ferry terminal, is in urgent need of a $12.5 million upgrade, local politicians say.

As it stands, the Bayswater ferry terminal consists of a couple of makeshift portable rooms and an exposed jetty, after a storm destroyed its canopy in 2014.

These limited facilities have compromised the efficiency of Bayswater ferry services over the past three years, and the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board has ranked a new terminal as second in its funding wish list for Auckland Council's 2017/18 Annual Plan.

The Bayswater ferry terminal is the closest public transport connection between Auckland's CBD and North Shore, being ...
TOM DILLANE/FAIRFAX NZ

The Bayswater ferry terminal is the closest public transport connection between Auckland's CBD and North Shore, being only 2.32km from the Downtown Ferry Terminal.

"We get comment about it all the time, about the service, the cost, the lack of cover," Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair Grant Gillon said.

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"For people to leave their cars, or buses or bikes and try and get across the terminal is quite a long stretch out in the open.

"It would probably be the worst [ferry terminal on the North Shore], and it's highly valued by the people who use it."

The Devonport-Takapuna Local Board made a presentation to Auckland Council's finance and performance committee on May 9, outlining their project aspirations for the next year, and to ask for the necessary funding.

The $12.5 million of funds the local board was asking for were contained in a 2014 Auckland Transport Ferry Development Plan report, but never assigned.

Gillon said the Auckland Council committee members gave no immediate feedback at the presentation beside asking whether a public-private partnership might be suitable to fund a new Bayswater terminal.

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"It would be very difficult to see how that would be more efficient because usually a private partner is in there to make money out of it which means the fares could go up, or there's higher subsidies, so it's not really a solution," Gillon said.

Ranked as their number one priority above a new Bayswater ferry terminal was infrastructure upgrades to solve the traffic congestion along the arterial Lake Rd, travelling down Auckland's Devonport peninsula.

The local board argued that both projects were interconnected in solving the chronic traffic congestion on Lake Rd, by encouraging residents to ferry rather than drive to the CBD.

The 2014 Auckland Transport Ferry Development Plan report projects that in 2026 over 400 people will use the Bayswater ferry terminal during morning peak hours.

It states the Bayswater ferry terminal land is leased and an upgrade to achieve projected patronage numbers: "could best be accomplished by providing a new terminal on publicly owned land where it would be more visible and would allow connections from feeder buses to be made more easily."

In addition to the terminal itself, the $12.5 million the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board is requesting would also fund construction of a new park-and-ride facility outside the wharf.

Auckland Council's governing body will finalise its 2017/18 Annual Plan, and whether funding has been provided for a new Bayswater ferry terminal, in June.

 - Stuff

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