Light rail’s route down SH20 – how will it go through to Onehunga?2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Key details around Auckland Light Rail (ALR) and its route through Onehunga have yet to be worked out, but once the big-picture business case gets the thumbs up from the Government at the end of this year, the time will come for our feedback next year.
Whether you’re a business owner or a resident, you should get involved in the decision-making process to ensure the outcome for Onehunga is a positive one!
At an online meeting hosted by the Onehunga Business Association in October, the Auckland Light Rail (ALR) team presented an outline of the options and beenfits around the modes and route, and how these could potentially affect Onehunga’s residents and businesses.
There are four main issues for Onehunga. Firstly, an integrated train station is needed to link the existing heavy rail station in Onehunga and the new light rail station. Secondly, the light rail route through or around Onehunga and particularly the lagoon, has to be worked out. Thirdly, with the City Rail Link business disruption in the CBD fresh in everybody’s minds, how will construction affect Onehunga businesses, and how will they be compensated? Finally, there is our access to the sea and our foreshore – we do not want another barrier between us and the hard-fought for Taumanu Reserve.
ALR project director, Tommy Parker, said that it’s important to have an integrated railway station. “Well-designed train stations can become the centres of a community,” he says. It will be interesting to see what happens here, as both the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board and Panuku (the agency responsible for the stalled Onehunga Transform initiative) have highlighted the need for an integrated transport hub in their plans for Onehunga. It will also be interesting to see if the regeneration of the port will play a part in the light rail plans, as well as the new bridge needed for the light rail crossing.
When the time comes for feedback, we need to pay particular attention to the route through Onehunga and around the lagoon. Parker says it is “a challenge” but also adds that it’s possible to have a positive outcome with good design. “There are some very good designs all around the world, where these things are integrated into the streetscape and you can either segregate them or integrate them,” he says.
The strong message to the ALR team is not to compromise on cost when it comes to mitigating the effects of the light rail structure on Onehunga. If done well, it could improve access to the foreshore, enhance the area around the railway station, and make Onehunga an even better place for living, shopping and doing business.
Onehunga Community News will continue to highlight and report on Auckland Light Rail as more information comes through.