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Published: 2010-10-08 00:00:00

A survey to gauge public demand for a Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service will get underway next week.

The survey will also look at the community’s willingness to contribute towards the costs of such a service.

The telephone survey by Versus Research will start on Wednesday in Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Ngaruawahia, Huntly and North Waikato.

Results will then be assessed by the multi-agency Passenger Rail Working Group (Hamilton to Auckland) which is examining the willingness of various parties to fund a service.

The group, which held its first meeting this week, is chaired by Environment Waikato and includes Hamilton City Council, Waikato and Waipa district councils, KiwiRail, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority. The lobby group Campaign for Better Transport will also attend future meetings as a non-voting participant.

EW’s policy group manager Vaughan Payne said the telephone survey would take about 10 minutes.

“The working group will be very interested in the results of the survey, which will involve about 1150 people. We’re expecting to get the results next month.”