Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Draft Local Board Plan 2011

The Waiheke Local Board Draft Plan has been released for consultation starting on 8 July. Submissions need to be in by 8 August.
This is what it has to say about transport:
Fast ferry services to and from the Auckland Central Business District have both encouraged economic growth on Waiheke Island over the past two decades (in 2009, there were 2,039 people employed in 1,191 businesses on the Island) and created a significant commuter population (approximately 1,200 people commute to the mainland for work).
However, the relatively high cost of ferry services adversely affects residents and commuters and may become a major problem if fares continue to rise. It also has the potential to impact on visitor numbers with negative consequences for the local economy and employment. However, the introduction of the New Zealand Goldcard free travel system has boosted the number of older people traveling to Waiheke Island.

We will advocate to Auckland Transport about the high costs of ferry services, which are due to the lack of subsidies for the privately owned services. We will advocate for the introduction of a subsidy as we recognise the effect increasing fares have on the local community, visitors and the local economy. We want to see Waiheke public transport services (ferry and bus) included in the Auckland Transport integrated ticketing scheme. In order to encourage increased bus patronage we will advocate for a series of linking, cross-island, feeder routes for smaller buses.
We will advocate, in the interests of local and regional development, for transport links and adequate wharves to provide better access to and around the Hauraki Gulf Islands.
We acknowledge the prosperity brought to Waiheke by our relationship with the city and will actively work to preserve and enhance this.
There are some long-advocated Fullerswatch points there, including fare rise concerns, subsidies and integrated ticketing.

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