• April 10, 2019
A packed Swanson carpark early in the morning. Credit: Hayley Twort
North-west commuters are frustrated with the lack of parking at the Swanson train station, the first stop on Auckland’s Western train route.
There are currently 136 available carparks at the station, but with hundreds of people making the journey to the CBD every morning, there is little luck finding a park after 7:30am.
AUT University student, Courtney Pratt-Young, catches the train from Swanson and wants to use the car park, but finds it is often full by the time she gets there.
“I’m pretty much always forced to park on a side street which isn’t the greatest.”
This has raised concerns about vehicle safety as people are forced to be creative and find empty spaces along nearby streets or within the carpark, making the area very difficult to manoeuvre.
“The thing that really worries me is that people park their cars not in actual parks. There is potential to do this in places, but not in most and the people that are doing it are really putting their cars at risk.
“I have to drive really carefully through there as I’m scared I might cause damage.”
Another commuter, Ruth James, expressed similar concerns.
“People parking half on the paths and behind others is a problem I frequently see.”
Swanson is the nearest station for nearby rural areas, including Kumeu and Waimakau, areas which continue to have significant population increases as new housing areas are established.
Traffic congestion along State Highway 16 has resulted in increased public transport usage, however the limited parking at the station has put people off.
Ms Pratt-Young says “it’s really frustrating and does almost discourage me from catching the train and as demand increases the problem is only going to get worse”.
A campaign to bring trains along the existing line to Huapai, a small rural suburb between Kumeu and Waimakau, took off in 2017, however no changes have been made as of yet.