HuttNZ Weekly Video Review 14 January 2020

Weekly video review of Hutt Valley activities and events via HuttNZ for January 14 2020.

Welcome back and Happy New Year, to you all, and all the best for this year.

Very quiet as we all know everyone is still on Summertime break, enjoy the sun and the BBQs, when the weather is warm enough 🙂

This week:

Trentham Rail underpass completed

Hutt Valley Health Hub opens

Days Bay wharf renovation hit by vandalism

Wellington Golf Club 1907

Epuni: Railway station to re-open early

The refurbished Epuni Station on the Hutt Valley Line will re-open to passengers on Tuesday 22 September.

Wellington Region Rail Programme Director David Gordon thanked passengers for their patience during construction.

“We initially thought Epuni wouldn’t be completed until October but good progress means we’ve been able to re-open the Station ahead of schedule,” David Gordon said.

Epuni Station has been closed to passengers since mid-August to allow the platform to be upgraded. The 1700m platform area has been re-sealed with the addition of passenger safety features such as yellow tactile strips at the platform edge.

Electrical ducting was also installed in preparation for the introduction in future of a real-time passenger information system by Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Work is still continuing on Petone station as part of the service upgrade.

“Passengers have been understanding about the amount of work that has been happening during the year – with the upgraded platform open for use, hopefully they will start to see some of the benefits of all the work we’ve been doing.”

The work is part of the wider rail upgrade, the Wellington Region Rail Programme, a joint initiative between KiwiRail (Tranz Metro and ONTRACK) and GWRC to improve passenger rail services.

Hutt Valley Rail: Outage again TransRetro rather than TranzMetro

Again people who use the Hutt Valley Rail line suffered in their return home last night as travel plans were thrown into chaos yet again as the TransMetro services were disrupted from 4pm yesterday.

A power fault about 4pm yesterday forced the cancellation of half the peak hour trains (about 100 services) scheduled to leave Wellington railway station last night. Thousands were left waiting on Platforms for non existent trains, and choas rained at peak travel time after 5pm.

Thanks to Mike for the photo taken at 5pm at Wellington Station.

27-07-09_1708 by Kiwi Frenzy On Location.

Hutt Rail has had repeated problems in the last month (July 10) and earlier in June, beside the major problem with derailment only last week  at Maymorn Upper Hutt, and commuters are reaching breakpoints with many saying that they are looking at alternatives. (Snapper anyone!)

Several people have expressed their concerns to HuttNZ and again I suggest that these should be forwarded to TranzMetro email. It was equally noted that the TranzMetro information txt service did not inform anyone of delays yesterday, and when they do of late, it has lost its relevance. (Realtime please!!)

KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn apologised to affected passangers.

“We take this service incredibly seriously and we feel gutted whenever the public are letdown….even when its something outside of our control”

Transport woes continued again this morning for Hutt Valley train commuters, with a service from Taita being cancelled due to mechanical problems.

KiwiRail spokesman Kevin Ramshaw says the cancellation did not cause big problems, as it was an early service.

There are trains going through there all the time because it’s on the Hutt Valley line, so there were alternative trains to take,” he said.

I don’t think that had any material effect on the network. Everything else is running fine.”

It shows clearly that this service is on its last legs, and the apathetic approach Kiwirail have toward current problems, roll on 2010 when the new trains are due. But equally expect further disruptions to integrate this new service as the closing of Epuni Station for six weeks illustrates. Just Hurry Up Kiwirail!

 

 

Hutt Rail: Police presence on trains underway

A regional initiative announced back in April to increase the police presence on trains is gaining momentum, with Lower Hutt police riding trains almost every day.

Each day, two to three constables from the police community engagement team usually jump on a train, check out the carriages and chat to passengers. Constable Paula Harris says the initiative started about six to eight weeks ago, with a training session from KiwiRail.

“We got taught basic safety stuff like how to move through carriages safely, holding onto the handrails,” she says.
Rail staff appreciate seeing police on trains, she says.

“They say sometimes they have problems on the Friday or Saturday night services with disorderly behaviour so we try and get onto those. For us, it’s an opportunity to raise our profile and be more visible. Public transport takes a lot of people everyday so it’s about getting used to seeing us, where people usually don’t.”

Though curious looks and questions of “Is something wrong?” were the most frequent reactions, Ms Harris and the team were hoping people would get used to the police presence and approach them if anything was needed.

In a recent survey conducted by Hutt City Council, 58 per cent of people said they felt at risk of being a victim of crime or sustaining an injury at train stations. And 51 per cent felt they were at risk on all public transport. A police presence, while rated below security wardens and better lighting, was listed as one of the top requirements for people to feel safer. Ms Harris was hoping to address that by having police on trains.

“It’s a chance to check out problems like tagging around stations.

“We get off at a station, have a look around, check for anti-social behaviour and get on the next train.”

Wellington Community Policing Manager Inspector Karen Smith says having police patrol the trains and platforms was a natural extension of the work they already do in the community.

Upper Hutt Railway Station to get upgrade when?

The Upper Hutt Council is planning an upgrade to the tune of $800,000  in the area around the railway station the problem being that it is a minimum of 4 years away not planned until 2013-14.

The direct responsibility of the station building and platform belongs to the Greater Wellington Regional Council which also has the station on an upgrade plan to roughly coincide with the UHCC plans.

A recent submission by Ms Tamsin Sommerville (UHCC Policy Mgr) to the GWRC highlighted the need for a coordinated approach

“The attractiveness and usability of this train station is of vital importance to Upper Hutt economic development and community well being. The problem is the station has been in a bad state of repairs for many years. It has been identified and highlighted by police, youth surveys and older adult forums as a major hot spot for crime.”

Recently UHCC upgraded the subway but without a coordinated approach the public perception of safety in using public transport is hindered. 2014 is a long time away.

It would appear that the Hutt Valley region has suffered strongly from under investment in Rail infrastructure as has been highlighted here before. The arrival next year of the new trains will mitigate this situation. Given the current economy one can but hope that several plans for rail are fast tracked to help the vast majority of commuters who use this service.

Hutt Valley Rail new trains step closer

Wellington’s Matangi train project has reached a milestone with formal sign-off of the design aspects by all partners – KiwiRail, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, Rotem-Mitsui and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Greater Wellington’s Public Transport divisional manager, Wayne Hastie, said a mock-up of a Matangi cab and half a carriage, based at the Woburn railway workshops, was an enormous help in approval of the design process. “We were able to change certain features and introduce some new ones first-hand, which was really useful.”

A range of groups, from train drivers through to passengers with disabilities and baby buggy owners, visited the mock-up which has been here since last November. The groups had given very constructive feedback.

“Everyone is pleased with the final design, so now it’s all systems go for the building of the trains,” says Ross Hayward, General Manager, KiwiRail Passenger Group. The 48 two-car trains are due to start arriving from 2010.

A unique and popular feature is a low-floor multi-functional area in the trailer car. This area will improve access and has room for wheelchairs, buggies and bikes.

Other features of the new trains include air-conditioning, passenger-operated doors, public address systems and electronic display screens.

While the trains are being built in Korea, a great deal of preparatory work is going on around the region. Eleven new substations are being built, signalling is being upgraded, and station platforms are being modified to accommodate the wider new trains.

Another line is being added into Wellington railway station to reduce delays. New depot and maintenance facilities will also be built for the new trains.

via GWRC

Police to travel on Trains in the Hutt

If you see police on a Tranz Metro train out of Wellington, don’t be alarmed – it’s a new initiative between Tranz Metro and community policing.

The project, launched from Wellington Railway Station today, literally takes police in a new direction.

Having Community Constables using the trains provides people with an extra opportunity to discuss local concerns with Police. “It’s along the lines of policing where the people are”, says Inspector Michael Hill, Acting Area Commander for Wellington. “The rail network is widely used so we are getting the ability to work on and from trains”.

In the near future, Community Constables may be seen talking with passengers on the Upper Hutt, Melling and other rail lines. With many commuters choosing the convenient, environmentally friendly trains, it is hoped they will use the time to discuss local concerns.

“We work closely with the authorities and we are delighted that Police are using the Tranz Metro train service like so many Wellingtonians,” comments Mark Pettitt, Security Manager of Passenger Rail at KiwiRail.

via NZ Police

Hutt Region City Councils Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP)

Hutt City Draft Community LTCCP 2009-2019

Hutt City Draft Community LTCCP 2009-2019

Your submission is required by the 5pm Thursday 30th April.

There are several other draft plans that effect the Hutt Valley at present. Listed below are the times for submissions:

Upper Hutt City Councils Draft Plan 1 April – 13 May 2009

Greater Wgtn Regional Council Draft Plan 23 March-24 April at the same time they will also be undertaking separate consultation between 23 March and 24 April on the Regional Land Transport Programme for the Wgtn Region.

But lets look at the Hutt plan in a bit of detail. First its 325 pages long, thats right 325 pages. What are they talking about that takes that much material. Well each household would have received a summary via post.  This document is 14 pages long, and provides a blurb from the Mayor and CEO as to the purpose behind the LTCCP, which is to look ahead 10 years, an opportunity to provide your views on projects and activities they are proposing and how they will spend the money to fund this in the coming 10 years. The 325 page document gives far greater depth, in fact its frightening that it takes this much space to explain their goals / activities etc. One puts this up against the Greater Wgtn plan of the same agenda (Long term planning) it only runs to 223 pages, 100 pages less.

But the whole purpose of these documents is to provide greater accountability to you the ratepayer, you pay these guys to provide services. The document is loaded with facts and projections.

A cursory look unfolds a couple of  facts /harbingers

  • Rates  Expect these to be around 2-3% increase each year (includes inflation). If inflation is higher rates will be higher.               
  • Income Council gets approx 64% of its income from rates, property owners in the Hutt 
  • Debt The Council is $75m in debt (2009) and expects to get this down to $30m (2015)

Several projects (in excess of $1/2million) are listed for consideration on the submission form, and as democracy goes the only way you can have your say is via a submission, part of the  form survey. This leads to a chance to present your submission to the Mayor in early May, if you desire. The process is similar for the other LTCCP plans.

One has to dig quite depth to find specifics, but in line with current postings of interest in the Hutt Valley, the  railway line is one subject that crosses the boundaries of several of these plans. By searching through the plans available one can find some interesting points:

1.   Hutt LTCCP P.165 investigate with Greater Wgtn Regional Council opportunities to expand parking at Waterloo Railway station (Park & Ride).

2. Greater Wgtn LTCCP P.20 Introduce a charge for Park & Ride Parking. Investigate a levy for parking at Park & Ride areas that are currently experiencing high usage where demand exceeds supply. see  http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/1b30b368#/1b30b368/21

One could concur that the Waterloo interchange Park and Ride parking is to be one of these areas. It currently is the second highest use railway station (behind Porirua). It has 617 carparks, and on most days carparks are scarce. An interesting fact also is that 50% of people that use the park live within 1.85km of the parks.

I would think that in light of this, albeit from 2 seperate plans that consideration be given to the commuters who use rail, that this matter be brought to light sooner rather than later.

How come the current parking has been provided for many years without charge?

Is charging going to impact on other transport alternatives, is it  not part of Greater Wgtn Regional to ensure traffic corridors are sustained and maximised?

Would it not be courtesy to state within the Hutt Plan that charges are contemplated for this exercise?

Unfortunately the above can only be answered by the Councils involved in time, what I am more concerned about is a level of transparency in each councils agendas especially where councils have dual responsibility.

What else lies within these documents ?  

The only way is to look at these documents in greater depth especially around areas that concern you, or impact on your residence or livelihood. Find any let me know!