Frustrated Mt Albert residents will confront Auckland Mayor Len Brown at a public meeting tonight about continued delays on a train station over-bridge project.
The meeting offers a chance for locals to discuss the delays with the mayor, after years of waiting for Auckland Transport (AT) to fund a pedestrian bridge from Mt Albert train station to the village centre.
City Vision has started a petition to “prevent the great Mt Albert train over-bridge robbery,” said local board member Glenda Fryer.
She said the local board is very concerned about the fate of the $1.23m AT initially promised for the bridge.
The project was planned to accompany a refurbishment of Mt Albert village, creating a public square for people after getting off the train.
The Albert-Eden Local Board had budgeted $3.4m for the delayed upgrade.
However in February this year, AT pulled the bridge funding. Then in March, the organisation apologised to Mt Albert residents for the handling of the cut, and said the bridge plan remained “on the discussion board”.
Funding was revived in May when AT presented plans at the Mt Albert Residents Association meeting.
The $1.23m was to be confirmed in the 2015-2025 Regional Land Transport Plan, but again, AT said no.
The problem has pushed back public consultation until September, “which is most disturbing in terms of getting the construction of the bridge underway for Christmas,” said Mrs Fryer.
She said there is no clear reason why the council-controlled organisation won’t commit to the project. She was told by AT officers there are other higher regional priorities.
AT said the money has not been reallocated, but is on the Long Term Plan schedule of projects: “a list to be progressed over the next three years”.
“Auckland Transport is seriously considering not funding the over-bridge and instead trying to force Council and the local board to take funds out of the upgrade of the public square,” said Mrs Fryer. “If this happens there will be no money left to transform the town centre as promised.”
She hopes after tonight’s meeting the mayor will be convinced to request AT to keep their promises to the community of Mt Albert.
The public meeting with Mayor Len Brown is taking place on Thursday, August 27 at 7pm, at the Potter’s Park Event Centre – 164 Balmoral Road.