11 Aug 2017

Auckland transport: 'Can't go the next 30 years catching up'

5:38 pm on 11 August 2017

An business lobby group says Auckland's 30-year transport plan needs to delivered in the next decade if the city is ever going to deal with its congestion woes.

Afternoon rush hour traffic out of central Auckland.

Afternoon rush hour traffic out of central Auckland. Photo: 123rf.com

The government has confirmed it is working with Auckland Council on providing more money to speed up transport projects in the region,

The Auckland Business Forum however says the city will never solve its transport problems if it spreads the $27 billion plan so thinly.

In a strategy aimed at whoever forms the next government, the group has called for more focus in Auckland's growth plans, and has advocated developing a new city in south of the region.

Forum chair Michael Barnett said bundling the projects into a shorter timeframe would attract international investors and construction companies.

"If we keep on doing it a bit at a time, that's unrealistic," Mr Barnett told RNZ.

"I think deciding what are the major projects, going international with them, and compressing those timeframes - at some point Auckland has to catch up, and we can't go the next 30 years doing catch-up," he said.

The group disagreed with using Dominion Road as a route for Light Rail to the airport, favouring instead improving the link between the train station at Puhinui on the southern line and the airport, eventually making it a rail link.

The priorities it's promoting from the 30-year programme agreed between the council and government included a northwestern busway, the Mill Road arterial route in the south, and completing the AMETI highway and busway in the east, all within five years.

It also called for two additional rail tracks on the southern line for freight, and extending commuter rail as far south as Hamilton.

The forum said a satellite city could be developed in the south with good transport links to both Auckland and Hamilton.

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