29 Jun 2016

Airport rail link not yet decided - Brown

7:36 am on 29 June 2016

No final decision has been made on whether trains or trams will eventually run to Auckland Airport, says mayor Len Brown.

Auckland mayor Len Brown at the gathering of graffiti agencies in Auckland.

Auckland mayor Len Brown Photo: RNZ/Kim Baker Wilson

The city's transport agency has ruled out commuter rail as too expensive, favouring instead a tram or light

rail link, but the Auckland's mayor says not so fast.

Auckland Transport's board announced on Monday that it had struck out an extension of the commuter rail network, because it would cost more than $2.6 billion as against $1.3bn for light rail or trams.

Mayor Len Brown said it would ultimately be for the council to decide, as it must provide the funding.

Mr Brown said the light rail proposal to airport had another complication, in that it was an extension of a

central suburbs line proposed by the agency that the council had yet to consider.

"We haven't received advice from Auckland Transport, so it's a bit of a cart and horse discussion going on here," said Mr Brown.

"If it is light rail that's indicated (to the airport), we cannot make ony progress on that recommendation from Auckland Transport until we've agreed that light rail is what we need from the CBD."

The central suburbs light rail proposal could cost more than $1bn before any extension to the airport.

Mr Brown said the case for both light rail and extending the commuter rail network would need to be considered by the council, and that process could run for a year, including a possible change of council at the October elections.