I LIVE in Gillies Ave and Newmarket is my local shopping area for groceries, gym, post office etc. There is a major shortage of parking and I cannot believe some guy from the North Shore is saying there is too much parking ("Driven to Brainstorm" August 23). What utter rubbish! He needs to visit a bit more often and experience the difficulty us locals have parking. Why can't we have extra parking? Has he factored in the new Westfield plans and the cars that will draw in - there isn't enough space for them to build an adequate carpark.
Newmarket services a huge customer base from the East who drive in. When it is raining, all of Auckland seems to want to park in 277 and the only other park is Farmers which is very small. The other carparks are too far away to carry groceries.
There is no way I would be catching a bus for my grocery shopping. Why would I for other shopping when I live so close but not close enough to walk?
It would be more useful if these guys looked at the number of huge trucks and trailers racing down Gillies Ave and Manukau Rds just as the schools are opening or closing. Wonder why? Also, the on-ramp at Gillies Ave is so dangerous and no matter how many lights there are it isn't going to change the situation as people speed along the motorway and it is almost impossible to move across to the right before the next off ramp. I am all for moving these on and off ramps.
I strongly object to the comments of those who obviously haven't done their homework re carparking for the greater good of Newmarket. - Ainslie Raicer, Newmarket
I AM APPALLED at the response from Ms Hunter - communications manager for Auckland Transport - to your enquiries about the Wellington St on-ramp ("Critics ramp up attacks on agency", August 30).
"I have no interest in making further comments to you or your newspaper, now or in the future'" is not what one would expect from a public or indeed any other employee. Ms Hunter should try and remember that her wages come from the ratepayer and should learn to understand 'civil' and 'servant'.
Ms Hunter should apologise and resign. Unfortunately her attitude is becoming all too common amongst bureaucrats. It is up to our elected representative to control their worst excesses. - Michael Baylis, Ponsonby
IT IS NOT only the 881 that arrives constantly late ("Honour the timetable", August 30), and it is not only the fact that the buses are late and overcrowded that is the problem.
Your article references the fact that NZ Bus says it has received only 16 complaints since July for this particular service. Personally, I find this to be 15 complaints too many for one service. If you have ever tried to deal with NZ Bus' complaints department, you would probably never want to repeat the experience, and just not bother placing anymore complaints. They have a standard 10-day turnaround and when it comes to late buses, their response is "well these are approximate times only". Approximate times do not account for a bus being 24 minutes late one day, and ten minutes late most other days.
My particular case related to the 277 and 274 bus routes (now the only buses that go from Downtown to Eden Terrace). I rang up after 9 days of waiting, and the response I got was that I could always catch an earlier bus. I pointed out that if that suited me, I would have done that to begin with. What I wanted was for them to either put another bus on that route (and not wait for one on a return journey), or adjust the timetable to reflect reality. They then suggested that since my particular bus got caught in traffic so often, the only way to do that was to remove it from the timetable completely and have a half hour gap between buses, that are supposed to go every ten minutes.
Finally, 13 days after the original complaint, I received an email response from NZ Bus, which for all intents and purposes is a blow off.
While I realise traffic delays are to be expected, NZ bus is in the business of transporting the public. It's sad to say that they have a virtual monopoly on the situation, but that is no excuse for poor customer service - from the delay in dealing with complaints, to having their main line go through to voice mail constantly. A suspicious person could come to the conclusion that they don't actually want to deal with the public, or their complaints, which is why they try and get everything to go through MAXX until they deign to contact you.
NZ Bus is not rising to meet the challenge, nor it seems is local government demanding the service from them that we, as Aucklanders, deserve. - Anna McColl
IF YOU'VE ever been at the intersection of Gladstone and Onewa Rds at peak hours or after school any day and experienced the utter chaos with school buses, parents' cars perching all over the place, two lanes of cars weaving in and around the buses and small children skipping alongside their parents, you would have to be mad to suggest this could be a suitable and safe site for a petrol station. ("Petrol station fuels anger," August 23)
Both the commercial buildings either side of Gladstone Rd have changed hands many times and often their surroundings are litter filled and gardens neglected. I agree with Anne and Jan of Northcote that this is essentially a residential area; in fact over the years much of the commercial development has impacted negatively on residents' lives. A developer could make a bomb turning these buildings into apartments as both have fantastic parking behind them and are close to the city, top schools and buses. If I had the money I'd do it myself. - Cathy Fraser, Devonport
YOUR WEBSITE reported flooding in Portland Rd ("Remuera residents fed up with flooding", September 3), due to the heavy rain coinciding with a high tide. Even if the council fixes this problem for now, it will recur later due to another factor. A US Department of Energy Report has stated that an 'average' year these days produces 5.5 times as many weather-related natural disasters, globally, than 40 years ago. A study published by the US National Academy of Sciences concludes that 97-98 per cent of the most published climate researchers say humans are causing global warming. A Watercare study says flooding in Auckland could occur up to four times more frequently by 2070. Up-to-date studies project sea level rises of around a meter by 2100.
PricewaterhouseCoopers and NZTE have estimated that a clean economy could result in a NZ$150 billion high-value low-carbon export economy by 2025.
Auckland could join cities like Vancouver in leading the world in emissions reductions by investing in public transport rather than expanding motorways. If we continue to pretend that we aren't causing climate change what will be the future for residents of Portland Rd, Kohimarama, Mission Bay and other low-lying coastal areas?
A Victoria University study shows that unfortunately the safest option will be to shift. - Geoffrey Mason, St Johns
HAVING READ the article "High price of death" (September 6) , I feel so incredibly sad for this family and others in the same predicament. I have recently lost both my husband and my brother within four days and understand the huge costs involved. However, what I cannot understand is how the NZ Herald can charge such an appalling rate for the notices. We had a family notice and three separate notices from immediate family for two days in the herald and the cost was $1300 - more than the catering costs for my husband's funeral. - Heather Mark, Onehunga