Weather permitting, Waikanae train commuters will be getting 240 new parks for Christmas with the construction of the new Metlink Park and Ride facility on the site of the old Waikanae Hotel late next week.
Kāpiti’s Regional Councillor Nigel Wilson said, “We have had to jump through a few hoops to get this across the line but now it is full steam ahead. The new car park will make a massive difference to Waikanae and will hopefully encourage many more people to travel by train.
Cr Wilson said the new bus routes coming in will also make it easier and quicker for commuters to get to the rail quickly and that should also see a boost in numbers. “The public transport future looks very bright for Kāpiti and we have several more initiatives planned as well,” he said.
Work is set begin as early as next week and will take 12 to 16 weeks depending on weather. The entire construction area will be closed during this time for safety reasons.
“It’s great that more and more Kāpiti people are taking the train and this is requiring more Park and Ride spaces.” says Paul Swain Public Transport Portfolio Leader for Greater Wellington Regional Council.
“The extra 240 spaces will mean there will be over 400 parks for Waikanae train commuters. While the new facility will be used predominantly by commuters during the week, it will be available for casual parking and community events on weekends and holidays.”
“Over 1000 people take the train from Waikanae every day, and many of them drive to the station from further north.”
Cr Swain says it can be complicated finding available land in built up areas, but the benefits to commuters, the local community and the wider region are worth the investment.
“We’ve been working with Kāpiti Coast District Council, Heritage New Zealand , Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust and Waikanae Marae Maori Reservation Trustees on getting the necessary consents for the work to begin.
“I’d like to thank commuters, shoppers, business owners and the community for their ongoing patience. When the new Park and Ride facility opens, it should make it easier for everyone to get a park in Waikanae.”
The new Park and Ride facility in Waikanae and extensions to facilities in Porirua, Upper Hutt and Trentham will mean there will be over 6000 Park and Ride spaces across the region.