I take issue with comments Cr Glensor made regarding the new Naenae railway station (No stop for rubbish, Sept. 4).
Has Cr Glensor visited that station on even a slightly windy day. I challenge him to locate the "safe, comfortable and reasonably pleasant places" for people to wait for their train.
I was there on the Friday following reopening of the new station; it was sunny with only a slight breeze. There was nowhere on that station that was comfortable, except hard up against the building in the middle, to which there was no admittance! The windbreaks were in places which gave no protection. The predominant wind blows from the north/west and simply whistles through the "protected" area, straight over the eight seats under the roof . There would be no protection from even the least amount of rain. The 'protection' panels are anchored about 20cm above the platform level, thus allowing feet to be thoroughly soaked on wet days.
At the south end of the platform the windbreaks are on the east side of the platform, again providing no protection from wind or rain.
Cr Glensor's comment the 1951 building should never have been given a permit shows his ignorance of Hutt Valley history. That building was built when there was a considerable marshalling yard to the east of the platform, in the area of what is now waste land. At that time, there was requirement for ticket seller, office staff handling paper work from all the goods being handled by the marshalling staff (being train drivers, guards, shunters) as well as newspaper seller and toilets for both passengers and staff. Some facility for taking lunch would also have been necessary.
The comments from the commuter quoted are ridiculous. The subway is used by a steady stream of people, myself included at least eight times a week, and I have never felt threatened in the last 15 years. "Daisy's" comment about lack of rubbish bins is equally out of order, as surely people could have breakfast at home and therefore not be needing to dispose of rubbish at the station.
The fence to the east of the rail yard was installed when the marshalling yard was eliminated to prevent people crossing the tracks. The space between two fences on that east side is now occupied by storage sheds, thus preventing access to the waste space and also preventing visibility of the platform.
There is no protection from the weather coming up via the subway stairs to the platform. Since the reopening, at the bottom of those stairs has been a constant large puddle of water, just ready to soak your shoes.
In short, I consider the replacement passenger waiting area is nothing short of a disaster! I do not believe the architect of that facility ever visited the area before drawing up plans.
The extra lighting and security is certainly an improvement.
Peter Glensor, chairman of Greater Wellington's Economic Wellbeing Committee, replies:
The new Naenae Station is a vast improvement on what it was before refurbishment. We've had positive feedback from several regular users but clearly there is no pleasing everyone.
As the writer acknowledges, the extra lighting and security does make the station feel safer.
The stairwell has been left open deliberately to provide more lighting for the subway which is very long - the longest in the whole region.
This feature was the direct result of a comprehensive architectural assessment aimed at preventing and reducing the criminal behaviour, which has occurred there.
There's far more covered seating and the station now provides a lot more protection from the elements than previously. I agree the windbreaks are not providing as much protection as we expected. We're considering installing more.
The protection panels have been deliberately raised a small space above the platform to enable the entire platform to be hosed down and kept clean.
Anyone wearing covered shoes would not get their feet soaked if they were standing in that area on a rainy day.
In the story to which the writer refers, I was talking about the storage company building on the eastern side of the station, not the station building itself.
I am very aware of the history of Naenae township and the station and the refurbishment has been carried out very much in line with Naenae's architectural history.
- Hutt News