North Shore Times : February 8th 2013
www.northshoretimes.co.nz 3 NORTH SHORE TIMES, FEBRUARY 8, 2013 NEWS Freephone 0800 27 24 32 | www.archgola.co.nz arch_HBjan13fam Use your outdoor living areas all year round • Warm & dry in winter • UV protection for summer • Stylish & permanent • 5 year warranty HARBOUR Thomas Berry 15 months INTEREST FREE Normal lending criteria apply Make ferries a priority By JESS ETHERIDGE Cruise ship tourists let down by Auckland s floundering ferry service will be sharing their bad experiences abroad, potentially damaging the city s visitor numbers, the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman says. Chris Darby has spoken before about fer- ries in Auckland being treated as the poor cou- sin , but he now believes it is having an impact on the city s overseas image. That s not the story we want told abroad, he says. It comes after Mr Darby s 3pm ferry from Auckland s downtown terminal on January 22 was delayed 21 minutes. The ferry only berthed at 3.09pm and started boarding at 3.13pm He says it did not leave the pier until 3.17pm and arrived in Devonport at 3.27pm. He was told some tour- ists travelling back to town were jittery about possibly missing their cruise liner which departed at 4pm. Auckland Council is making efforts to attract tourists but the num- bers aren t great , he says. We need to get our heads around all of the transport issues -- not just the fashionable ones. Mr Darby says it is time ferries were given priority. Fullers Group Ltd operates the city s ferries and a spokesperson says the company is regret- ful for the delay. The spokesperson says service reliability for Fullers is more than 99 per cent across more than 80,000 departures per annum. It is also worth noting that the particular delayed service from Devonport to Auckland referred to, had an unu- sually high passenger load -- 44 per cent higher than any other service from 1000 that day. It always takes more time to board and disem- bark tourists who are in holiday mode, as com- pared with commuters, and this unfortunately resulted in the delay to the service. Ferry costs muddy waters DISGRUNTLED CUSTOMER Delays of up to 40 minutes between Beach Haven and Hobsonville left one passenger disgruntled. The passenger reported the delay and says he was told the boat was late after dropping Auckland mayor Len Brown back in town. Auckland Transport's Mark Hannan says feedback was generally positive. Seven return ferry trips ran between the terminals and carried about 860 passengers. ''We hope people had a good day, saw the quality of the two wharves and got to see the potential of the service.'' Setting sail: An 80-seater catamaran carries passengers across the new Beach Haven to Hobsonville route. Photo: JESS ETHERIDGE New crossing, left: Prime Minister John Key and Auckland mayor Len Brown at the opening for the Beach Haven and Hobsonville Point ferry terminals. By JESS ETHERIDGE FORCING ferry users to pay premium prices while bus and train commuters get a generous discount is not the way to build the world s most liveable city, Auckland mayor Len Brown says. Mr Brown admits there is work to do around ferry pric- ing after two terminals at Beach Haven and Hobsonville were opened at the weekend. It costs an adult travelling from Auckland to Beach Haven $8 cash fare one-way. For the same travel time on a bus it costs $4.50. We ve got work to do around ferry pricing, and public transport pricing per se, Mr Brown says. At the very least we want to deliver a public transport system that is at least cost neutral for people in their use, as against their use of a car. The new terminals cost under $5 million to build and were officially opened by the mayor and Prime Minister John Key. Getting more people off the roads will only work if fares are worthwhile, Mr Brown says. People have got to not only have options of use but they ve got to be appropriately priced and so we know there is work yet to be done on that. But we want to encourage more and more people to use public transport, unclog our roads and make this an even more liveable city and on that basis pricing will be some- thing we hold under constant review. Kaipatiki Local Board chair- woman Lindsay Waugh confronted Auckland Trans- port at its regional public transport plan hearing on January 30 over unfair pric- ing. She believes fare pricing should be equal across each service. An Auckland Council spokesman says a 23 per cent discount is available on ferries using an AT HOP card. Around 1000 people turned up for the opening ceremony at Hobsonville where local iwi welcomed guests to the $3.2m terminal. Beach Haven s terminal cost $1.2m and was the first pro- ject completed using Auckland Transport s discretionary transport funding budget. The Kaipatiki Local Board lobbied Auckland Transport last year for it because Beach Haven had been without a ferry service since the 1970s. In his speech, Mr Key paid tribute to the three men who died in last year s tornado in Hobsonville, which tore through the community and left many homeless. He said the Government is spending $1 billion a year on Auckland and he congrat- ulated the council on complet- ing the terminals at a low cost. The prime minister cleared the podium for the singing mayor Len Brown who said Auckland has been renowned as a city which has made bad decisions and completed pro- jects only half-baked . Mr Brown cited the Auck- land Harbour Bridge as one of these decisions. Mrs Waugh said: This ter- minal will give our community direct access to the public transport hub at Britomart and, before too long, the city rail link.
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