The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford.
The Transport Agency today said it is no longer investigating a heavy rail line to the airport.
“Aucklanders see rail to the airport as a vital part of a modern, rapid transit network across the city that will include heavy rail, light rail and busways.
“The National Government has been dragging its feet on Auckland public transport for the past eight years, and hasn’t built a single new significant piece of public transport infrastructure. Aucklanders want to be reassured that this latest announcement is not just more penny pinching and backsliding.
“Auckland Transport argues that light rail is cheaper and will better serve a larger population base and more jobs within easy walking distance of stations, but heavy rail will get people from the central city to the airport 11 minutes faster. Journey time is a critical factor.
“One of the great benefits of rail to the airport is the opportunity to give South Auckland a modern, efficient and convenient rapid transit service. If the light rail option offers a better chance of extending the line from Dominion Road to the Airport, and then out to Manukau and through to Botany, that would be a big argument in its favour.
“The light rail option which the Transport Agency seem to be favouring with this decision relies on Auckland Transport’s proposal for light rail across the isthmus – but that proposal isn’t even off the ground yet.
“It is time for the Government to get its act together on Auckland transport and deliver some joined up thinking about the future shape of the transport network,” Phil Twyford says.