News that Aucklanders are spending the equivalent of four weeks a year – the annual leave entitlement for most working people – stuck in traffic is proof the Government has failed Auckland, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford.
“National promised election after election to sort out Auckland’s traffic gridlock yet it has steadily gotten worse with no respite in sight. They should be ashamed that they haven’t initiated and delivered a single new major piece of public transport infrastructure for Auckland over their eight years in government.
“Meanwhile, they have allowed a blow out in immigration that is putting an extra 825 cars on the city’s roads every week.
“Is it any wonder Aucklanders are spending 80 per cent longer a year stuck in traffic – 172 hours now up from 95 hours in 2014? Every Aucklander knows the gridlock is getting worse rather than better.
“National could have built on the outstanding success of the Northern Busway, rolling out rapid transit busways on the North Western Motorway and in the South East, as well as extending the Northern Busway.
“Instead of working with Auckland Transport to urgently build a rapid transit network that would allow the motorways to cope at peak hours, National has wasted years fighting with Auckland Council. It has dismissed every proposal made by Auckland for additional funding sources without making any constructive proposals of its own.
“Most worrying is that Steven Joyce, who held up the City Rail Link for five years while he played politics, now controls the Government’s purse strings. His contempt for public transport, and partisan opposition to an Auckland Council, is holding back growth and prosperity for our country’s biggest city.
“Labour will prioritise the building of a modern rapid transit network for Auckland, including Light Rail, that will allow the city’s transport networks to more efficiently cope with peak demand. We will agree a 30 year transport investment plan with Auckland Council, backed by funding commitments from the National Land Transport Fund. We will work with Auckland Council to find ways Aucklanders can raise revenue so they can pay their fair share,” says Phil Twyford.