Friday, 20th January, 2017

Closing Westfield rail station will do nothing to improve travel for South Auckland workers and residents and do nothing significant for the rest of Auckland either, says Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett.

Auckland Transport claims to be creating a network that is both useful and convenient for more people in South Auckland.

Responding to reports that Westfield will be closed on March 12, Mr Barnett said the decision was shortsighted – “The decision should be about the network and integrating the station’s improvement as part of Auckland Council’s long-term urban intensification plans.”

“The closure decision appears to have been undertaken in isolation from Auckland Council’s urban intensification plans for this area of Auckland.”

There is a large workforce at nearby industries. This decision won’t help them change from using their motor vehicles to using public transport.

While patronage is currently low, as the rail system is modernised and improved and the intensification of more businesses to the area takes place, a much wider uptake during the working day could be expected over time,” concluded Mr Barnett.

He strongly encouraged the Auckland Transport board to re-consider and keep options open for Westfield’s retention and eventual integration within an upgraded, modern and integrated passenger transport network badly needed in South Auckland.

For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.