New train station in the pipeline for North Waikato?

The possibility of a new railway station in the area has the local community talking again. At a Regional Council hearing, Councillors were interested in a possible station at Mercer, however others are more interested in Tuakau and possibly Pokeno as well.

Waikato District Council’s Tony Whittaker, General Manager Strategy and Support, said “the only stations our Council are currently considering for the start-up passenger service between Hamilton and Auckland are Huntly and Tuakau. We currently have $500K in our Long Term Plan for a facility in Tuakau. Mercer could be a potential station for the long term fast train. For the start-up service, Mercer hasn’t been considered as yet by the multi-party political working group established.”

Jacqui Church, speaking from personal views and not for any Council said, “the Mercer residents and ratepayers committee presented to Council last week, in the Long Term Plan submission and hearing process, that parking facilities were often at full capacity at Mercer. They want Council to see them as an important town. So there’s appetite for stations including Mercer, however the funding and feasibility issues are complex and expensive.

“I’ve also spoken with many Pokeno residents who have indicated their need for a train station,” said Jacqui. “For these people, it’s Pokeno that is the growing town. Of course Tuakau has been extremely active in working towards a railway station and service to the town. I congratulate them for their foresight and work in this space.”

Jacqui said many people in the area work in the Auckland region and lose a lot of time travelling. “This is incredibly unproductive and hugely impacts on many family’s quality of life. I personally find this absolutely unacceptable. I agree with sentiments I’ve heard regularly from locals in North Waikato—trains, and robust, frequent, affordable transport is a key lever for growth and quality of communities and family life. I look forward to the outcome of what I hope, with the involvement of all policy makers in the planning, is a visionary and strategic public transport and rail outcome for us all, as soon as possible.”

What are your thoughts?  Email me: jess@thepost.nz and let me know where you would like a station to be built.

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