Moving the Melling train station: Rail commuters have their say
The week of 20 November, the RiverLink engagement container was set up at the Melling train station and commuters were invited to tell the project partners what they thought about moving the Melling station south of its current location.
“The people who use the station every day have important insights that will help us shape the next steps of the project. We were delighted to hear that people largely support moving the station and are enthusiastic about our opportunity to rejuvenate Hutt centre,” says Rebecca Polvere, RiverLink project manager.
The project team were available at the container during the morning and evening commute to explain the proposal to commuters and hear their thoughts on how such a move would impact their commute. During this time about 200 people visited the container and talked with the project team.
While most commuters said that shifting the station 250 to 500 metres south of its current location wouldn’t significantly impact their commute, many raised the merits of extending the Melling line further north so that additional suburbs would have access to public transport. A number of commuters also suggested extending the hours of operation later into the evenings and offering weekend service.
Walking to the station and crossing SH2 from the western suburbs was one of the most frequently raised topics “There was strong support for addressing how people walk across the SH2 at the Melling intersection and we heard many comments about the safety and crossing wait time problems people currently experience, we heard so many stories about watching the train pull away from the platform while standing on the wrong side of the highway. People are very keen to have a new intersection that would
be safer, quicker and easier to cross,” says Rebecca.
Parking was another hot topic. People strongly supported the proposal to provide additional parking at a new station but some wondered how the loss of the riverbank parking would impact parking availability for commuters. Several people mentioned that station parking is currently being taken by people who don’t actually use the train but instead work in Lower Hutt and are attracted to the free parking. The project team were encouraged to consider ideas on how parking at a new station could be managed to meet the needs of the community.