Submission to Greater Wellington Regional Council




Submission to:

Greater Wellington Regional Council 10-year Plan

Proposed Regional Land Transport Programme 2009–2012

Wellington Regional Rail Plan 2010–2035

 

on behalf of

Raumati Public Transport Action Group

PO Box 2088

Raumati Beach 5052

raumati.station@gmail.com


We wish to be heard in support of our submission at a hearing.



Summary

Raumati Station has been planned for years

The Raumati Station has been planned for many years, including the last 10-year Plan, the Western Corridor Plan, the Regional Passenger Transport Programme, the Regional Land Transport Committee monitoring reports, the Passenger Transport Committee's commissioning of construction designs, the Transport and Access Committee's employment of consultants to determine the order of the implementation programme of Kapiti railway stations.


All included a station at Raumati.


Are there no longer any plans for a Station at Raumati

Greater Wellington Regional Council now has no formal plans for a Raumati Rail Station.


There is no Raumati Rail Station in the draft Wellington Regional Rail Plan 2010–2035.


There is no Raumati Rail Station in the Proposed Regional Land Transport Programme 2009–2012.


There is no Raumati Rail Station in the proposed Greater Wellington Regional Council 10-year Plan.


Despite commitments made

This is despite a commitment made by GWRC to consider Raumati Station after the double tracking and electrification from MacKays Crossing to Waikanae is completed.


This is despite ensuring the design of the double tracking will not preclude the Raumati Station, and a formal assurance provided to that effect.


This is despite a stated commitment to hold land for the associated carpark at Raumati.


All the plans are connected

The 10-year Plan includes the Regional Land Transport Programme, which include scenario 'RS1' of the Regional Rail Plan. Currently submissions are being sought for the proposed Plans. But because the Plans are so interconnected, this is a single submission in relation to rail matters pertaining to all three Plans.


So one submission,
with focus on RRP

This submission's primary focus is on the Regional Rail Plan and its assumptions. We believe the Regional Rail Plan scenarios are based on assumptions that should be questioned.


There has been no case made and no decision to not have a Raumati Station

As such it should be included in the Base Case of the Regional Rail Plan 2010–2035.


Regional Rail Plan

Scenarios

The Regional Rail Plan (RRP) is a plan covering the next 25 years. There are several options for implementing scenarios that build on a base case.


The scenarios (RS1, RS2, RSA, and RSB) could be implemented in different sequence after the base case has been completed.


Built on a Base Case

The Base Case is presented as incorporating the Medium Term Rail Implementation Plan (MTRIP), which was part of the Regional Passenger Transport Operational Plan (RPTOP).


MTRIP included plans for new (Raumati and Lindale) and upgraded (Paraparaumu and Waikanae) Kapiti railway stations.


The RRP's genesis is also the RPTOP, which provided for an RRP that 'will be constructed in such a way that is consistent with and delivers the objectives of the Regional Land Transport Strategy and Regional Passenger Transport Plan'.


The Regional Land Transport Strategy included the Western Corridor rail projects, which included Raumati rail station.


The Regional Passenger Transport Programme included a new rail station at Raumati, including pedestrian access, security, bus interchange and park-and-ride facilities.


Raumati Station should be in the Base Case

The starting point for the Regional Rail Plan should clearly include a rail station at Raumati.


If not, then the Regional Council should initiate a consultation process to remove it from current plans through to 2035. The Regional Council has not initiated such a consultation process nor made such a decision.

In fact, the Regional Council has made a formal commitment to revisit the case for Raumati Station at the completion of the current Kapiti projects.


That commitment should be reflected in the planning Base Case.


RRP scenarios

The Regional Rail Plan's scenarios build on the proposed Base Case:


  • RS1 introduces 15-minute, peak-period frequency on all 'metro' lines.

  • RS2 enhances frequency to 10 minutes on Hutt line.

  • RS3 enhances frequency to Hutt and Waikanae lines.

  • RSA has focus on travel time rather than frequency.

  • RSB extends coverage beyond Waikanae and Upper Hutt.


Raumati Station is in RS3.


Unlike the other scenarios, RS3 is not presented as an option to be implemented.


Only the Base Case and RS1 are included in the proposed Regional Land Transport Programme and 10-year Plan.


Why is Raumati Station in RS3?

RS3 is about increasing frequency from every 15 minutes at peak time to every 10 minutes at peak time.


How does a new Raumati Station increase frequency?


If the modelling shows that, why is it not included in RS1, to help improve frequency from current to 15-minute intervals?


Or was Raumati Station put into RS3, and RS3 ignored in the Regional Land Transport Programme, just to bury the Station?


Why the focus on frequency?

What is also unclear is why is frequency used as the distinguishing factor between Base, RS1, RS2, and RS3?


The Regional Rail Plan gives an impression that frequency is the key improvement sought by existing and potential train passengers.


But this is not so.


Frequency is not important

The Regional Passenger Transport Plan's principal components of an ideal passenger transport system are accessibility, reliability, quality, simplicity, and affordability.


Not frequency.


The rail and bus 2008 customer satisfaction surveys show reliability as the most important and the lowest performance. Frequency was the highest performance. Journey time was the lowest importance of the four aspects presented.


Frequency is a proxy for reliability. If a service is unreliable, higher frequency would at least mean shorter periods for the next functioning bus or train to arrive!


If the service is reliable, the main benefit of higher frequency is shorter waiting time. But journey time is of low importance. Therefore time (or the value of time) is of low importance.


The two most important factors are reliability and capacity. These are enhanced by accessibility; being able to board a train that runs by your community, as the Raumati line does.


RS1 should focus on reliability and capacity

If the Base Case is MTRIP, then the next scenario should be fully meeting the most important factors that the Base Case is not, i.e. reliability and capacity.


Sensitivity analysis inadequate

The Regional Rail Plan includes sensitivity analysis on a range of inputs. These are deficient in several areas.


Time of trips not considered properly

The value of time seems to have only been used for the length of the rail trip itself. But a commuter's experience is based on the full trip length, i.e. home to work, or vice versa.


Trip time should include getting to the bus stop and the bus ride to rail, or driving to rail and finding a park, or walking or cycling to rail. Although complex, it highlights the importance of the whole public transport network.


It also highlights the importance of accessibility, i.e. proximity to bus stops and rail stations, and facilities like parking and accessible services.


Raumati is the only community on the Western rail line that does not have a rail station.


For example

Some people in Raumati South next to the railway line have to walk 15 minutes South and West to the nearest bus stop, travel by bus 15 minutes North and East to the Paraparaumu Rail Station, then 55 minutes South by rail to Wellington.


Anecdotally, many travel by car to Paraparaumu rail in 10 minutes or 10 minutes to Paekākāriki rail or just keep driving all the way into Wellington.


Growth is too aggregate

Modelling appears to only use aggregate growth assumptions. There is currently very high volatility in growth forecasts. And there is high variability throughout the region.


And focusing on future population growth ignores existing communities that are not adequately serviced now.


An what about frequency?

The key differences between the scenarios is frequency. There is no sensitivity analysis presented on this assumption.


What would be the effect of using 20-minute frequency instead of 15 minute? It might result in quite different scenarios and costs/benefits. Critical elements such as stabling, bottlenecks, train speeds, and so on could all be significantly affected by this assumption.






Raumati Rail Station

Regional Rail Plan

Raumati Rail Station should be in the Base Case of the Regional Rail Plan (or if not, it should be in RS1) as 'planned after double tracking and electrification to Waikanae'.


10-year Plan

Raumati Rail Station should remain in the Region's 10-year Plan.


It's needed now

The Raumati community is the only urban community on the western line without a station.


Raumati has the population now to justify a station.


There is a high potential for rail use in Raumati. Residents are currently low users of rail compared with other Kapiti residents.


Funding was already available

It has been planned and funded for some time. The Regional Council has diverted the funding to other Kapiti rail projects that were under-costed.


There is strong community support

Raumati residents have presented three petitions supporting the Station; the first with 800 signatures, the second with 2000 signatures, and the third presented to the Regional Council just this year with over 3000 signatures.


Around 900 leaflets have been individually signed and sent to the Chair of the Regional Council this year calling for work on the Raumati Station to get 'back on track'.


A formal submission to the Regional Council on the Maunsell report also set out the case for Raumati Station; and earned at least the commitments to it being revisited, its design accommodated into current projects, and the retention of the land held for carparking.


The Kapiti Coast District Council has unanimously passed a motion of support for the early construction of Raumati Station, and so has the Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board.


The Kapiti Coast District Council has requested inclusion of the assurances gained from the Transport and Access Committee in the Regional Rail Plan, in its submission to the Regional Land Transport Programme.


The Kapiti Coast District Council's Sustainable Transport Strategy says that provision of new rail stations at Raumati and Lindale are essential

components of the new network.


The community and its elected representatives, including MPs Nathan Guy, Hekia Parata, and Winnie Laban, have all demonstrated strong support for the construction of Raumati Station.


Action required

The Regional Council must not ignore the case for a Station and the strong support it has engendered.


To demonstrate integrity and accountability for the commitments it has already made, the Regional Council must ensure that the construction of Raumati Station is included in the:

  • Base Case or RS1 of the Wellington Regional Rail Plan 2010–2035

  • Proposed Regional Land Transport Programme 2009–2012

  • the proposed Greater Wellington Regional Council 10-year Plan.



Raumati Public Transport Action Group

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