by Gareth Hughes
National’s transport plan quite simply ignores Aucklanders. It’s a 1950s-era policy that continues disproportionate spending on a few uneconomic motorways, including the Puhoi to Wellsford ‘Holiday Highway,’ and promises no new funding for high quality trains and buses. It’s light on detail and heavy on tarmac.
On Labour’s, I welcome their change in direction down the right road with their announcement that they would fund half the CBD Rail Link.
However, the Greens would go further and would fund 60% of the CBD Rail Link and allow the Council alternative funding mechanisms like a congestion charge, land betterment tax and parking reform to raise their share. The Greens are still the best bet for smart transport solutions for Auckland.
The Rugby World Cup opening showed clearly the need to increase Auckland’s rail system’s capacity — right now if a train stops in Britomart tunnel it literally jams the whole rail system for hours. The link is smart and would double the capacity of the rail network, transform the CBD and allow further developments like links to the Airport and North Shore in the future. By cutting spending on uneconomic motorways, such as the Puhoi to Wellsford ‘Holiday Highway’ and the Wellington Northern Corridor, we can free up enough funds to pay for urgently needed rail projects like this and light rail to connect Wellington.
National Governments stopped progress on this needed piece of infrastructure in the 1950s and the 1970s and the best way to stop them holding Auckland back again in 2011, is to party vote Green.