The plan for the finished park and ride.
Delays in awarding a construction contract mean commuters face another cold, wet and windy winter as they wait for buses without sufficient shelter at the Silverdale park and ride (Hibiscus Busway station).
The opening of the final 90 parking spaces could also be as long as 10 months away.
Recently Auckland Transport (AT) admitted that there are holdups with the building of the bus station and remaining car parks. AT had expected this work to be complete by July but the latest estimate is for completion much later this year, or early next year and a contractor is yet to be appointed to do the work.
One issue is that resource consent for the remaining car parks contains the condition that the existing two right turning lanes on Painton Road be modified before the parking spaces are made operational.
However, AT spokesperson Mark Hannan says the delay has been caused by the need to keep the project within budget – – the total cost of the project is $17.6m – including 2.5m for the land and $13m for construction.
“We are currently completing a procurement process to appoint a contractor for the station building and additional car parks,” Mr Hannan says. “We are negotiating with interested parties to determine where added value can be achieved, while minimising construction costs. The objective is to obtain highest value for money for the busway station users and ratepayers.”
He says on completion of this process an agreed construction programme will be released. Currently AT’s website gives the timeframe as February 2018-early 2020.
Once the station building is complete it will include ticket and AT Hop top-up machines, toilets, secure cycle parking and well lit waiting areas that will be protected from the elements.
Commuters spoken to by Hibiscus Matters say that this cannot come soon enough, particularly as winter approaches. The small bus shelters at the facility fill up fast, leaving many out in the cold.
Drivers also have to get to the busway station very early in the morning to secure a park, as demand for spaces already exceeds supply. Those who miss out are forced to park across the road near the former bowling club, or on surrounding roads, pavements and verges. In recent weeks, some of these vehicles have been ticketed – but Mr Hannan says only those parked on broken yellow lines are receiving fines.
“One day we issued 13 infringements for parking on broken yellow lines in Small Road and the following week we responded to a complaint from a member of the public and issued 20 infringements in Small Road,” he says. “We will continue to regularly patrol there – motorists cannot park on broken yellow lines.”
At last month’s Hibiscus & Bays Local Board meeting, deputy chair Janet Fitzgerald described the holdups as frustrating for the public.
“I have continually asked when the bus station would be completed and to hear of these delays is very disappointing,” she says. “It is very sad that we are seeing money poured into areas in Auckland while Hibiscus Coast residents are still standing out in all weathers, unlike the Albany station where pick up and drop off areas are all covered.”
Last year AT said it was considering introducing charges for parking at the Silverdale and Albany park and rides. However, Mr Hannan says that idea has progressed no further and is currently “not on the agenda”.
The extension of the Silverdale park and ride has been plagued with delays almost since the start.
Work began in February 2017. At that time it was thought that the entire facility would be complete by May of last year but the project ran into a number of issues including resource consent appeals from the owners of neighbouring land. When complete, the facility will provide 608 car parks.