New pedestrian rail crossing at Paekākāriki officially opened
Paekākāriki residents joined former community board member Betty Perkins today to officially open a new safer rail crossing for pedestrians that has been named after Betty.
The upgraded crossing, linking Tilley Road to State Highway 1, was funded by Council and built by Kiwi Rail after longstanding requests from the Paekākāriki Community Board.
Former board chair and Paekākāriki/Raumati Ward Councillor Janet Holborow says it was very special to have Betty present for the formal opening.
“Betty is the reason this crossing has finally become a reality. Over the two years I was on the board with her, she would frequently raise the idea of a railway crossing for the children to get to school safely. Though the walkway has been in use for some months this was an opportunity to acknowledge Betty for her tireless advocacy for this project and much more while on the Paekakariki Community Board."
Councillor Holborow says for years people had been using the route and beaten an informal path but now the old dirt track, over farm land, acquired by NZTA, has a metal surface and a new pedestrian rail crossing provided, complete with safety signs.”
She says there was a bit of red tape to work through between the agencies to get the job done but she is happy it is finally complete.
“It is a legal and safe crossing over the rail tracks with what is called ‘maze’ fencing and signs which make it so much safer, particularly for school children.”
The track is being used mostly by residents from a cluster of houses on SH1 to get to and from Tilley Road. This includes children attending Paekākāriki School.