170 more railway car parks
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.
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.