A new transport hub in Rotokauri, expected to be built mid-2020, was one of the talking points at Hamilton City Council’s Your Neighbourhood open day event in Crawshaw last week.
The Rotokauri Transport Hub (the Hub) will provide a bus interchange, a rail platform for the forthcoming Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service, and a potential pedestrian bridge over the railway to The Base.
The Hub will include a park and ride facility for rail and bus passengers, including mobility spaces, electric vehicle charging spaces, drop off and pick up zones and taxi stands. It will be an important new link for connectivity within Hamilton and to Auckland. The Council is investing $12M in the project through its 10-Year Plan 2018-28.
The Hub concept and the additional transport links, especially rail, are a good idea, said local resident Kelly:
“I think it will bring people to Hamilton. I’ll definitely use the rail for day trips to Auckland. Public transport’s important especially with the cost of petrol,” she said.
Susanne from Nawton echoed Kelly’s views, saying there were environmental benefits to an improved public transport system.
“If we can get more cars off the road that has to be a benefit and from what I’ve heard it sounds like the train would be a good service,” she said, noting the service’s comfortable seating and amenities, and adding it will be good for business people.
Susanne said she is a regular bus user, living and working locally and added access from Nawton to the Base is quick and easy.
The transport hub is part of a $2B 10-Year capital investment by the Council to enable and support planned, sustainable growth and look after the city’s future transport, infrastructure and community facilities. As one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities, Hamilton’s transport improvements will reduce the impacts of growth on the environment and congestion and ensure future generations can quickly and easily get around the city.
The new passenger rail service is scheduled to start in mid-2020, with Waikato Regional Council contracting KiwiRail to provide it. The service is one of the priority projects in the Hamilton to Auckland Corridor Plan and will offer two week-day return services and one Saturday service. The trip from Rotokauri to Papakura is expected to take 80 minutes.
In the next few months the train carriages will refurbished, stations built and upgraded and timetables, ticketing and on-board amenities finalised.
The Hub project will also provide new and improved walking and cycling connections along most of Tasman Rd and along a new, yet-to-be-named nearby road. There will also be changes to how people use Tasman Rd and the Council is consulting on these changes this month.
Image caption: Artist impressions give Hamiltonians the first look at how the Rotokauri Transport Hub could look in the future.