Sunday, March 3, 2024

Maintenance and project delays frustrate board members

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The Picton Street bus shelter which was destroyed by a bus more than a year ago has still not been replaced. Photo Times.

Some local board members are fed up as community maintenance and funded projects continue to fall by the wayside.

Long standing board member Adele White says Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are letting the community down as continued delays to community projects frustrate residents.

She says simple things are not getting done and enough is enough.

“The people of Howick have massive pride in their town. They pay substantial rates and they quite fairly seek a decent standard,” White says.

“There has been a broken bench seat sitting in the middle of Howick Village for months now. There is nowhere for bus users to shelter outside the Good Home because the bus shelter was destroyed by a bus months ago.”

She says the list of small things that haven’t been done goes on.

She is also disappointed at the constant delays the board is experiencing with the completion of funded projects.

“We have been waiting for a chess table to be installed in Fencible Walk for nearly two years now and the turnaround for the buses at the Half Moon Bay Ferry Terminal was supposed to be opened in December last year.”

James Ireland, an AT spokesperson, says Auckland Transport has discussed nine different possible local board funded projects this term.

“The Howick Local Board has proceeded with investigation of three, all of which followed the expected timeframes,” he says.

“The bus shelter on Picton Street was knocked down around 14 months ago.  It has not been replaced because the footpath is very narrow in that area and fitting the shelter on the foot path in a way that does not obstruct the Good Home’s windows and access is difficult.”

Ireland says the Howick Local Board is working on a Howick Village Centre Plan that will remove some parking and may provide a wide enough footpath for a new bus shelter.

“It would not be financially sensible to install a new shelter anywhere until details of this plan are confirmed by the Howick Local Board.”

With regard to the bus turnaround, Ireland says the project has taken much longer than expected due to delays in contract negotiations and AT have apologised to the board for the delay.

The project is due to be finished next month.

Auckland Council community facilities general manager Rod Sheridan says overall the Howick Local Board’s project delivery programme is currently one of the five highest achievers across all local boards.

He says is based on the projected forecast for completion and indicates that progress with delivering the Howick Local Board programme is on track.

“There will always be projects which are delayed for a range of reasons and the delivery team is focussing on getting these resolved. Fencible walk is one of these projects,” Sheridan says.

  • Local board member Garry Boles agrees and has also expressed his dissatisfaction with Auckland Council over park maintenance. Read this story here.

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