170 more rail­way car parks

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PAUL

More than 170 car park­ing spa­ces have been ear­marked for the north­ern end of Porirua rail­way sta­tion to cater for in­creased de­mand.

Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil rail op­er­a­tions man­ager An­gus Gabara, said land near and cur­rently oc­cu­pied by the Piggy Pack­ers Rentals busi­ness would be con­verted into much-needed car parks.

The rental ve­hi­cle com­pany is shift­ing its premises to an­other lo­ca­tion.

‘‘Piggy Pack­ers Rentals’ last day on the land is end of July this year. Once they have va­cated, we will con­vert that area into park­ing, which will add 172 ad­di­tional car parks,’’ he said.

‘‘Adding new car parks isn’t as sim­ple a process as peo­ple might think. Drainage is usu­ally the big­gest chal­lenge, en­sur­ing that we meet all the en­vi­ron­ment stan­dards in terms of drainage into the har­bour.

‘‘Fol­low­ing that, it’s a case of kerb­ing and seal­ing, and that is where the weather can de­lay things a bit, but we hope in earnest to start in Au­gust, but how long it takes to com­plete is weather de­pen­dent.’’

For frus­trated Porirua com­muters Linda Ge­orge and son Matthew, the ex­tra spa­ces can’t come soon enough.

Dur­ing the morn­ing rush, some res­i­dents are forced to leave cars on the sta­tion’s grass verges in spite of the mul­ti­ple NZ Trans­port Agency and Metlink signs ad­vis­ing peo­ple not to.

When Matthew Ge­orge ar­rives at the sta­tion for the 11.09am train to Welling­ton, he rarely finds a park.

‘‘Other peo­ple make their own car parks at the end of a line of other cars, or you no­tice a lot of peo­ple park­ing on the grass be­cause there are not enough parks,’’ he said.

‘‘There are signs that say not to, but where else are peo­ple sup­posed to park?’’

He of­ten ends up driv­ing to his par­ents’ Pa­pakowhai house and get­ting a ride to the sta­tion. They then drop his car off at the sta­tion in the even­ing, when there is more space avail­able.

Linda Ge­orge said she of­ten saw peo­ple parked on the grass verge of the State High­way 1 north­bound off-ramp when she ar­rived at the sta­tion.

‘‘Most days, it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to get parks down here. Matt is luck­ier than most be­cause we can drop him off, but it’s a real panic for every­body else. It’s not a great idea that some peo­ple have to park on the grass next to the off- ramp, but what other op­tion is there?’’

The south end car park was ex­panded be­tween 2014 and 2015 to con­tain up to 150 car park­ing spa­ces, with lights in­stalled be­neath Mun­gavin Bridge.

A cou­ple of years ago, land fur­ther south of the newly cre­ated car parks was de­vel­oped to cre­ate 150 more spa­ces, while a fur­ther 40 were added at the north­ern end.

There are cur­rently 480 car parks avail­able.

PHO­TOS: JAMES PAUL

Com­muter Matthew Ge­orge of­ten has trou­ble find­ing a park when he ar­rives at Porirua to catch the 11.09am train to Welling­ton. Above: Many com­muters have been forced to park on grass verges at Porirua sta­tion, de­spite signs urg­ing them not to.

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