ALR recommends SH20 route2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
After months of uncertainty, Auckland Light Rail has recommended the light rail only route to be built alongside the SH20.
ALR selected this route due to the overwhelming response and tremendous feedback from almost 2,300 community members in the limited timeframe earlier this year. This route will cause minimum disruptions, is the simpler of the two routes and it will use the existing transport corridor rather than have a railway line snake through the Onehunga suburbs.
ALR announced that the route will operate on a completely separate track, so it can go faster and carry more passengers.
Although the residents favoured this route over the other (using the KiwiRail land set aside 80 years ago), they are concerned about the lagoon and foreshore access and pollution, and the loss of recreation and green space.
The railway route will leave Onehunga and head toward Māngere Town Centre, where 80% of people fully support light rail in the area. Light rail stations are proposed for the wider Māngere area – two between Onehunga and Māngere Town Centre, and one near the airport. This will give locals easy access to light rail and a connection to the major employment centre by the airport.
The next step for ALR is to improve the design work, which will take green spaces, the lagoon and neighbouring properties into account. The design will include a long, raised bridge (viaduct).
Once the project’s sponsors, Auckland Council, the Crown and mana whenua, have finalised the route, ALR will lodge the Notice of Requirement with the Auckland Council to protect the land needed to build the tracks, and they will also talk to the affected property owners.
The town manager at the Onehunga Business Association, Amanda Wellgreen says, “I am pleased the light rail team listened to the people about the impact of bringing light rail through the town centre. However, there needs to be further engagement with property and business owners to better understand the impact and solution for the future.”
She says a vague line on a page is unhelpful, and an integrated approach will be the best for everyone involved. “These large infrastructure projects are fantastic, but they tend to impact property owners when plans are delayed. No one can move on with their own developments with unknowns hanging over them.”