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Monday 7th August 2017

How National and Labour plan to fix Auckland's transport woes. 

 

Photo: 123RF

Labour and National yesterday announced policies designed to help ease Auckland’s congested transportation network. 

Auckland’s traffic congestion is the 47th worst in the world, according to GPS data from TomTom. According to the AA, it takes 67 minutes to drive from Papakura to the CBD in the morning, 21 minutes longer than it did in 2013. 

In the mornings, buses are often filled to capacity, and motorways are gridlocked. As the city’s population grows, things will only get worse. Auckland's population is estimated to have passed 1.5 million in the year ended June 2014, and is projected to reach 2 million by 2033, according to Statistics New Zealand. 

Both Labour and National plan to spend big on transport New Zealand’s largest city, with Labour’s focus on public transport, and National’s emphasis on roads. 

National has pledged $230 million to be spent on rail, but with investment in roading already announced, the party’s total spend on Auckland transport will be closer $2.6 billion.

Labour says if it gets into government it will spend $2.1 billion on rail, light rail, and rapid transport bus routes. 

***

Jacinda Ardern announces Labour's Auckland transport policy

Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell.

Labour’s “make Auckland a world class city” policy was announced to between 300 and 400 people at the Wynyard Quarter. 

Here’s what Labour says it will do: 

*Build light rail from downtown Auckland to Mt Roskill within four years. 
*Extend it to the airport and West Auckland within a decade. 
*Extend the network to North Shore within 20 years.
*Connect Puhinui and Manukau Train Stations with the airport via rapid transport bus within a year.
*Create a rapid transport bus line from Howick to the airport.
*Build a third main trunk line between Westfield Station (between Sylvia Park and Otahuhu) and Papakura.
*Buy more electric trains.
*Extend electric train lines which currently end at Papakura on to Pukekohe.
*Create cross-town bus routes between New Lynn and Flat Bush, Point Chevalier and Botany, Silverdale and Whangaparaoa, and Howick and Glenfield. 
*Allow Auckland Council to collect a regional fuel tax (forecast to raise $160m a year at 10 cents a litre) and develop targeted rates to fund a share of these projects. 

In a nutshell: Labour has essentially adopted its policy from transport lobby group Greater Auckland, which in turn is an extension of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project's plan. 
 

Infographic showing Labour's proposed North-Western light rail line (orange), central line (blue), and rapid bus link (yellow).

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National announced it’s commitment of $230 million on commuter rail in Auckland yesterday to a group of about 150 people at Papakura Train Station. 

Here’s what National plans to spend that on: 

*The electrification of the rail from Papakura to Pukekohe, at a cost of $130 million.
*The addition of a dedicated freight line between Puhinui Train Station (Wiri) and Westfield Station, at a cost of $100 million, which they hope to begin before the end of 2018. 
*These projects will be fully funded by Government, not local council. 

 

Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

The Nats have other Auckland transport plans that were reported by the Herald on Friday, and don’t involve rail. They are: 

*The four-lane Mill Rd Highway between Manukau and Drury at a cost of $955m.
*Northwestern busway from Westgate to the city - $835m
*The Ameti (Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative) roading and public transport project in the south-east - $615m. 

This increases the Nats’ overall spend to $2.6 billion. 

In a nutshell: More roads, extending electric rail to Pukekohe, a new freight train line, new bus lanes.  



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Susan Strongman is an Auckland-based journalist at The Wireless. She is interested in social issues, human rights and people, but likes to spend her spare time with her cats.
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