Laxon Terrace – Sarawia Street rail level crossing
Auckland Transport is considering closure of the rail level crossing connecting Sarawia Street and Laxon Terrace, Newmarket. As the crossing provides the only vehicle access route into and out of Laxon Terrace closure of the crossing will need to provide an alternative vehicle access. Consultation is currently underway and public feedback is invited on the online form below.
Feedback following the December 2012 public forum has been strong, and we will be closing the initial consultation on 23 April 2013. If you are interested in commenting on the options under discussion, and have not already done so, please complete one of the survey forms below.
A reminder letter and survey form will also be mailed to each residence in the area shortly.
We will be developing a Scheme Assessment Report and proposing a preferred option to progress informed by the responses to the current consultation and feedback received from the Waitemata Local Board. This preferred option will be submitted to the Auckland Transport Board to seek approval to progress the preferred option to design phase.
In recent years several investigations have been undertaken to explore the feasibility of alternative road access options to and from Laxon Terrace if the existing level rail crossing connecting Laxon Terrace with Sarawia Street was closed.
Sarawia Street provides the only access to Laxon Terrace and Youngs Lane via a road level rail crossing.
In regards to rail, the efficiency and safety of future rail operations depend on the removal of the level crossing. The crossing is currently the busiest and most complicated in the country in terms of rail movements and these are expected to increase with the arrival of electric trains with 10 minute headway on all main lines during peak periods. It will mean both more rail passengers being affected by train delays and a longer waiting period at the crossing.
Several options were investigated which included assessing the local road network, geology, varying road alignments, structural forms, property acquisition requirements, storm water catchment, land tenure issues and cost benefit ratio.
Considerations for vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist access were also assessed.
Furneaux Way option
This option is to create a new low-speed, low volume, access way through Furneaux Way.
It is also a less expensive and simpler engineering option.
Concept features of Furneaux Way option
Clear sightlines to be created and maintained and approach visibility a safety priority.
Landscaping and paving to be kept in local residential character, and of domestic scale.
Will also provide traffic calming, be safely lit and enhance local visual amenity.
All options allow sufficient width for emergency and large vehicles e.g.rubbish trucks.
Current pedestrian movements through to Furneaux Way are maintained.
Furneaux Way and James Cook Crescent will experience a minor rise in traffic volume (refer to Traffic Effects for more information).
AT would assume responsibility for maintaining Furneaux Way as a public road.
Furneaux Way through road images
Cowie Street bridge option
This option involves construction of a two lane road bridge from Cowie Street to Laxon Terrace. It is the most expensive option under consideration.
Concept features of Cowie Street bridge
Two-lane road access into and out-of Laxon Terrace and Youngs Lane
Pedestrian and cycle access to Newmarket Park is maintained
Some land acquisition will be required
Cowie Street will experience a minor rise in traffic volume (refer to Traffic Effects for more information).
Cowie Street Bridge image
Newmarket Park option
Construction of a two-lane road and footpath through Newmarket Park connecting Laxon Terrace to Ayr Street. This is a less expensive option than the Cowie Street bridge, but is technically challenging due to ground instability issues.
Concept features of Newmarket Park option
Two-lane road access into and out-of Laxon Terrace and Youngs Lane.
Acquisition of Newmarketed Park land from Auckland Council will be required.
Ayr Street will experience a minor rise in traffic volume (refer to Traffic Effects for more information)
Will include traffic calming
Will result in loss of amenity for Newmarket Park users.
Newmarket Park images
Traffic counts were carried out at Cowie and Sarawia streets and James Cook Crescent. Analysis of the impact of redirected traffic from Laxon Terrace/Youngs Lane was undertaken, with the conclusion that the low volume of traffic leaving/entering is low and the effects on nearby streets minimal.
Other crossing removal options
Other options explored include:
An underpass from Sarawia Street was considered previously by but dismissed due to construction and cost challenges compared to a bridge.
Over rail bridges
Options for bridges from either Sarawia Street or Cowie Street were previously explored by KiwiRail in 2011, with the Sarawia Street bridge option dismissed due to gradient issues.
Newmarket Park Roads
Options for a road through and a road around the park have been explored by Auckland Transport. Both roads carry high construction risks due to ground stability and the option for a road skirting the edge of the park was not progressed further.
Pedestrian and cyclist access to Newmarket Park
Changes to the level crossing will also affect pedestrian and cycle access to Newmarket Park. The following options are under consideration
Furneaux Way Option: Complete closure of crossing (no access), retention of a pedestrian/cyclist-only crossing, construction of a pedestrian/cycle bridge from Cowie Street.
Update: following discussion with KiwiRail on operational benefits, retention of a pedestrian/cyclist-only crossing is no longer being considered.
Cowie Street bridge option: No additional provision as pedestrians and cyclists will be able to use the road bridge to access the park.
Newmarket Park option: Complete closure of crossing (no access) retention of a pedestrian/cyclist-only crossing, construction of a pedestrian/cycle bridge from Cowie Street.
Update: following discsusion with KiwiRail on the operational benefits, retention of a pedestrian/cyclist-only crossing is no longer being considered.
We are consulting with affected residents and other interested parties to gather feedback on the options.
A public forum was held on 12 December 2012. Read the presentation from that meeting (PDF 890kb)
If you are a resident in the affected area or other interested party, please complete our survey form online, or email your comments to us.
Auckland Transport will be updating the information on this site regularly in response to comments and questions raised.