At the end of last month the Greater Christchurch Partnership released its Mass Rapid Transit interim report. It is an investigation for faster public transport from Rangiora and Rolleston to the City Centre. Three options were detailed:
1. Heavy rail along the current railway corridors to Riccarton and from there through a trench to the city centre.
2. A busway along the motorways with on-street running in the city centre.
3. Light rail or segregated bus lane along main corridors (such as Main North Rd).
Apparently, the favoured option is the last one. Going on recent history, the most likely outcome is that nothing will be done, at least in the next few years, but there is at least some possibility that action might be taken soon.
What does all that have to do with St Paul’s Papanui? Under both Option 1 and Option 3 a mass rapid transit station would be quite close to St Paul’s. The report notes how property prices increase in the catchment of stations. That has certainly been the case in Auckland and Wellington and in many overseas centres.
As we think about the use of our property and facilities, we should factor in the possibility that living in the neighbourhood of St Paul’s may well get even more desirable. The Bishop, too, has mentioned several times that the location of St Paul’s is quite strategic. While we are currently not in the middle of a large residential area, the location is easily accessible. The Papanui Youth Development Trust is quite deliberate about the advantage of being in this place, which is close to schools, shops and several bus routes. With a rapid transit station nearby that advantage would increase. We need to be aware of the location of St Paul’s and how it fits into the changing urban landscape of Christchurch.
Blessings – Tim