Stanley Bay Wharf Upgrade Postponed, Due to Lack of Interest

Posted by on Aug 09, 2010 | 1 Comment

Stanley Bay Wharf, Devonport

Fossilised remains of Stanley Bay commuters have been found huddled together for warmth in this shed

A lack of interest from residents in using the Stanley Bay ferry means current ferry users will have to wait for any improvement to the wharf and shed.

The proposal to improve the wharf includes removing the existing wharf stairs, which continually require maintenance, cut the corner off the end of the wharf and install a new 20m pontoon complete with a gangway alongside the wharf, back towards the existing shelter. This pontoon and gangway would cost around $260,000 and installation/consenting about $40,000, making a total of around $300,000. No canopy or weather protection is proposed at this stage as this would cost another $250,000. In Council’s LTCCP this project assumes a funding contribution from ARTA/NZTA of 53%.

Fullers cannot formally commit to the continuation of their ferry services but they have no desire to stop them. These services are subsidised by their Devonport service operation. ARTA supports the project as the existing steps do not provide a safe method of access for passengers to and from the ferries. In the event that Fullers ceased to provide services ARTA would consider contracting ferry services at the time. ARTA is unable to provide any financial support.

Two recent face to face surveys were conducted by an independent research company with over 100 households randomly selected door to door in the catchment and 30 current ferry users surveyed at the wharf or on the ferry. Findings showed that “ferry scheduling” is the most significant barrier to people catching the ferry more frequently from Stanley Bay.

However, improvements to the wharf are more important overall for current users. Between one and two thirds of people surveyed are in favour of some improvements to this wharf; however it seems unlikely at present that major improvements alone will increase ferry patronage significantly even though they may have a positive impact on users’ experiences. NZTA funding cannot be applied for until we have a firm  estimate of cost, a Scheme Assessment Report of the options considered including benefit/cost analysis, detailed design completed and all relevant consents obtained.

In view of the above, NSCC will have to defer the upgrading of this wharf. The status of this project will be included in the Passenger Transport Position Paper that will go to the new Auckland Transport CCO. It is envisaged that this project will be taken up and prioritised with the other ferry infrastructure improvements, at an appropriate time.

The Speculator is delighted at the response from those surveyed, as minimal interest in the Stanley Bay survey will ensure its unique character will be preserved. Should the service become too popular, quirks and perks available to current commuters would be lost.

The service must be the most unusual public transport route in the world. The service is renowned for the eccentricity of some of the announcements made by the pilots; which have included;

– “Top of the morning. As you’ll all have noticed, it’s bloody foggy today. Could someone come up front and help me spot any approaching obstacles.”

– “G’day folks. Conditions are a bit rough this evening, so please don’t be alarmed by any water rushing through the front door.”

And of course, how many commuter routes offer their customers the option of taking their families on a mystery journey? The famous “Mystery Trip to Rangitoto” at Christmas was one the events of the year for many Stanley Bay commuters.

1 comment

  1. Chris says:

    I’m sure this is a lovely club for the few commuters that use it on a regular basis but could they not at least run one extra ferry for after school drop off time in the morning and one for before school finishes in the afternoon?

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