A motion to put Warkworth’s park and ride on hold was voted down seven votes to two at a Rodney Local Board meeting in March.
The motion was put by Board member Colin Smith and supported by Tim Holdgate.
Mr Smith said he wanted the $5 million earmarked for the park and ride redirected to road sealing.
“I feel at this stage $5 million on a park and ride is a luxury for our community,” he said. “We need to return it to the original purpose of roading it was intended for and show some respect to our ratepayers.”
However, Board deputy chair Beth Houlbrooke said the money was from Warkworth ratepayers, so could only be spent in Warkworth.
“I think it’s a valuable asset that’s only going to become more and more necessary. We’re going to go from 5000 to 20,000 population in the next however many years, the roads will be under a massive amount of pressure and as soon as Pak’nSave is built, we’ll see a lot more use of buses.”
Since introducing the targeted rate in 2018/19, the Board has collected just under $13 million and spent just over $5 million. Most of the expenditure has been on bus services ($3.8 million) followed by park and ride investigations ($901,521), bus stops ($399,737) and footpaths ($12,641).
Warkworth’s park and ride on the old Atlas site, on State Highway 1 just north of the town, will consist of 137 carparks. A resource consent for its construction is currently under review by Auckland Council.
Meanwhile, the Board last month approved expenditure of just over $3.5 million of targeted rate funds for 10 footpath projects – three in the Warkworth subdivision and the rest in Kumeu. The three Mahurangi projects are Albert Road in Leigh (Seatoun to No. 15) $172,000; Pakiri Road in Leigh (No. 21 to Sawmill Café) $502,000; and the full length of Wech Drive $534,000.
Although a footpath on Mahurangi East Road was initially included on the list, it was removed. Board chair Phelan Pirrie says the work has been delayed as it adjoins a proposed subdivision. He says if the subdivision proceeds it may trigger development of the adjoining farmland and the developers will be required to construct the footpath, which could help save ratepayers funding the work.
The Board also agreed to spend $60,000 revising its priority three footpath list. Priority three projects in the Warkworth subdivision are Ahuroa Road and Point Wells Road. There were no footpaths in Wellsford on the list.
The review is based on information from Auckland Transport that “a number of the existing priority three paths are estimated to be very high cost and with limited expected usage”.