Hutt Valley Rail Upgrade Easter – NaeNae & Epuni Stations
As posted via Twitter the upgrade of two Railway stations on the Hutt line was undertaken over the Easter Break.
Naenae Station and subway will be closed for four days over Easter, so the subway can be cleaned and made safer.
The station and subway will be closed from 6am Friday 10 April, and will re-open at 4.50am Tuesday 14 April.
The 105m subway will be ice-blasted and painted, new lighting will be installed, parts of the subway stairwells with poor visibility will be blocked off and high impact CCTV cameras will be placed in the subway and on the platform to improve security and safety.
The work, which will cost about $150,000, will be paid for jointly by Greater Wellington and Hutt City Councils.
The improvements are the result of a working party, comprising representatives from local police, KiwiRail, Hutt City Council and Greater Wellington, that was formed out of increasing concern about incidents of crime and vandalism in the subway and on the station.
Peter Glensor, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Transport and Access Committee, said the work would help make the subway a brighter and more pleasant area for the hundreds of commuters, elderly people and school children who used it daily.
“People use this subway not only for the trains but to cross from Oxford to Cambridge Terraces and vice versa. You can’t expect people to take public transport or walk, instead of taking the car, if the environment isn’t safe or pleasant.”
Hutt City Mayor David Ogden said, “This work will significantly improve the safety of the subway for the many Naenae residents and commuters who use it each day. The subway will be light and clean, and the visibility will be significantly improved.”
While the station and subway are closed, pedestrians are urged to use the Daysh Street bridge to get across the railway line. Walking over the lines is illegal and extremely dangerous.
$150,000 has been spent in this renovation. Was it well spent, given future desires for use of Public Transport?
Photos of upgrade
No doubt a significant cost of the upgrade was the removal of Epuni station due to asbestos and CCTV upgrade at stations. The question needs to be asked about adequate facilities for patrons of the Rail service, given it appears no regard has been given to shelter, in the case of Epuni, and now the distance to travel up access ramps at both stations with the removal of internal access.
Given it is part of the Greater Wellington Regional Councils mandate to increase use of public transport this goes little way to helping that, in fact it probably encourages people to use main Stations like Waterloo which have better facilities. Equally it is noted that the Council has an intention to start to charge for parking at Waterloo, so it seems that the rail commuter is faced with either discomfort or increased costs.
The final word goes to a regular commuter who expresses his frustration http://www.geekzone.co.nz/psycik/6423
Your comments appreciated