Government on track for another announcement

Here we go again. Another transport announcement from the Government who are yet to deliver on all of their previous transport announcements, National’s Transport spokesperson David Bennett says.

“Reports that we can expect Labour to announce (again) a $10 billion plan for light rail in Auckland are likely to be met with a mixture of scepticism and confusion.

“It is unclear why Labour is returning to light rail when the eye-watering $10 billion price tag is a lot to throw at a something that is no faster than the buses currently on our roads. It certainly appears this is a deeply politicised project based on the whims of the Prime Minister.

“For a similar price tag Auckland could get itself a second, much needed, multimodal harbour crossing. This would be a much smarter strategic investment for our largest city.

“The current harbour bridge has well-known risks of engineering failure in the future and it is clear that key stakeholders in the city have signalled that a second crossing is their number one transport priority. And not a cycle bridge.

“The congestion of the Dominion Road/Mangere corridor does need addressing, but rapid bus transit could achieve this as has been the case on the North Shore. National would want to see these kinds of alternatives looked at before spending $10 billion on light rail.

“Massive investment in transport means serious disruption to a city and light rail just isn’t the return on investment that would make a decade of traffic issues worth it.

“National believes that significant investment in quality, enduring solutions for Auckland is where the Government should be focusing its capital. Light rail isn’t it. I look forward to more details tomorrow.”