Trams To Western Springs Plan
Auckland City Council’s transport committee was today presented with a proposal for the planned Waterfront heritage tram service to be extended to Three Lamps, Ponsonby Rd, Grey Lynn shops and down to link up with Motat’s Western Springs and zoo service.
Geoff Houtman who is standing as an independent for the Waitemata Local Board and represents group Our Hood says this line extension would run 6.2ks and cost roughly $26m.
“It’s the one chance for non-polluting rail in this central part of Auckland and the best thing is that if we start now, it’ll be ready for the RWC,” he told the committee, seeking its support.
He said that while the ARC had decided to run heritage waterfront trams around a small rectangle on Wynyard Wharf, the service needed to go where people sought tourist attractions.
“Luckily we have a string of such destinations close to Wynyard, some of them already connected by tram: Victoria Park, Vic Park market, Three Lamps, Ponsonby Rd, Western Park, Grey Lynn Park, Grey Lynn shops, Western Springs stadium and Motat where the existing tram link whisks us to Western Springs Park, the zoo and Motat 2.
“180,000 people a year use the Motat trams already so how many more would use the expanded version?,” Mr Houtman asked.
At the meeting, council chair Ken Baguley asked Mr Houtman if he wanted only heritage trams or would support a modern light electrified rail type solution. Mr Houtman said he felt that heritage trams kept the costs down and would itself be a tourist attraction.
To a suggestion that the council investigate it further, a council officer told the meeting with that only 40 days left before the council went out of operation, there wasn’t time and resource to start researching the idea.
The committee passed a resolution that it at least supported the proposal for an electric tram service along these lines in principle and recommended the incoming Auckland Transport body gave it consideration.