New ATAP report welcomed
Auckland Mayoral candidate, Phil Goff welcomed the release of the interim Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) report.
“The report acknowledges that a step change is needed in Auckland’s transport planning. What we are doing at the moment is inadequate and will result in a further decline in our network performance by 2026. Worsening congestion and growing gridlock is causing massive frustration and huge productivity losses in Auckland,” Phil Goff said.
“I had a very productive conversation with Transport Minister, Simon Bridges, at his initiative this afternoon. I welcome his recognition that the whole country needs Auckland to succeed and that improved transport systems in Auckland are integral to this.
“The Minister and I agreed to clear away the blame game between Council and Government and that policy must be evidence based and led by an analysis of what will turn around our worsening congestion.
“Adequate funding is critical to putting infrastructure in place to carter for Auckland’s growth. Road pricing will have to be part of that both to raise revenue and influence behaviour. That is a change in the Government’s position and I welcome it.
“The report also recognises the need for a north-western busway that should have been in place as part of the current changes. In recognising that there is growing bus congestion and there is a need for substantial capacity increase in public transport, the report also implicitly points to the need for light rail.
“With tourism numbers growing beyond 3.3 million a year and most coming through Auckland there is also an urgent need for a rapid transit link between the airport and CBD.
“Much more work needs to be done including consideration of infrastructure bonds to meet the multi-billion dollar investment which is needed in our city transport. This report at least heads in the right direction,” Phil Goff said.