Million-dollar commitment to railway station
Greater Wellington Regional councillor Paul Swain is optimistic a start can be made on replacing Upper Hutt's dilapidated railway station in the financial year beginning July 1.
A more than $1 million one-off contribution to the regional council, the railway station's owner, is included in the Upper Hutt City Council's draft annual plan.
Swain said Upper Hutt's $1.066m commitment reflected a partnership approach and he was confident the GWRC would match it dollar for dollar.
The first work will be a regional council funded feasibility study, Swain said.
"This will examine whether a Petone [station]-style renovation or a complete new station is the better option and will need to take into account the proposed double tracking of the railway line from Trentham to Upper Hutt.
"Time is ticking away. The building is in poor repair with the roof and the wiring some of the more immediate problems," Swain said.
"There is pressure to do something about these things but we also agree it would be a waste to put good money after bad into the old building."
Swain wants the feasibility study done quickly.
Development of the area around the station had been discussed with the aim of making the area function better as an entry point to the city.
"But because of the fact there is the need for urgent attention, Wayne [Guppy] and I agreed to focus back on the station itself," Swain said.
Upper Hutt's commitment proposed in the annual plan was a big advance, he said.
"It's really great to see that money in there. It's not clear just yet who is going to be up for what.
"We will do the study and look at the relative shares."
The regional council had inherited all of the commuter railway stations and there were problems and costs with the majority of them.
"However if there are contributions coming locally that can help."
Upper Hutt Leader