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Old wharf eyed for new Bayswater ferry

Flagstaff Team

Ferries ahoy..? The old Bayswater wharf

The old wharf at Bayswater is being considered by Auckland Transport (AT) as a new location for a ferry terminal.

Shifting the ferry facility north-east from its existing location on the corner of Bayswater Marina may mean strengthening is required for the old wharf.

Dredging will likely also be needed in what is considered a sensitive ecological area. The area is a breeding ground and home to a number of endangered shorebird species.

AT has already acknowledged that getting resource consents for dredging to allow an all-tide ferry service will be a lengthy process, with no guarantee of success.

But it is understood to be focusing for now on what wharf-strengthening might be needed. Questions have arisen over ongoing access to the existing terminal location, due to the planned development of apartments on the privately owned marina land.

A lack of parking near the existing terminal is also seen as problematic.

Frustrated local politicians have repeatedly asked AT how it intends to meet public-transport needs in the rapidly intensifying suburb.

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair Ruth Jackson recently received a briefing from AT’s executive general manager of integrated networks, Max Lambert. She revealed to board members in her chair’s report last week that the old wharf was under consideration for a ferry terminal.

“I’m delighted to report that Auckland Transport will start the process to plan for and fund a replacement ferry terminal based at ‘the old wharf’ at Bayswater within the next few months,” she said.

Jackson was told AT had a pre-Covid estimate of $15-$20 million just for berthing facilities (gangways and pontoons).

AT was committed to ensuring a new terminal was operating before the lease on existing facilities expired in 2031, Jackson said.

The lease is with Bayswater Marina Holdings Ltd, which faces a contested hearing into its marina development plans. This will take place before independent commissioners in September.

For a new facility, budget would be required for a passenger waiting area and toilets, in addition to the berthing facilities. These costs appear not to have been calculated.

The board has long wanted an upgrade on the current makeshift terminal, which has a portacabin-type waiting room.

A workshop of AT officials and the board is planned, said Jackson. This would provide more detail about how bus transport and park- and-ride facilities would operate if the marina development proceeds.

The Flagstaff has asked AT for more information about the ferry-terminal proposals, but had not received a response by press time.

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