Joyce Still Dismissive Of CBD Link
Transport Minister Steven Joyce has again poured cold water on plans for the CBD rail tunnel and even more so for North Shore rail.
Speaking only weeks out from the May Budget when rail advocates hope for some good news about Auckland commuter rail, the Minister labelled the CBD rail link plan the proposed CBD Loop Tunnel “expensive” at $2.3 billion.
He said he had asked for a review of the business case for the tunnel because it would be “irresponsible for the Government to even consider being involved without being confident of having the full facts.”
He was even more dismissive of the plans for North Shore rail.
He said officials believed it could cost another $6 billion to $7 bilion to run rail tracks to Albany because of the need for more tunnelling given that the busway corridor would be unsuitable.
“Many people want us to invest in more rail projects. It’s amazing how generous they can be when it isn’t their own money.”
While we have heard all this before so it is no surprise, it’s significant as the Budget is well advanced and despite the attendance of Government Ministers at the Auckland Unleashed summit to launch the Spatial Auckland Plan , there is absolutely no hint that the Government has the slightest enthusiasm for the Mayor’s Auckland rail project vision.
But it goes without saying there is no such questioning of certain expensive highway plans.
Through tunnel looking like a lost dream
The thumbs down was not just about rail hopes.
KiwiRail has been talking about a new Wellington ferry terminal and a new port at Clifford Bay south of Seddon in the South Island to improve travelling times.
Steven Joyce was also cautious about the CliffordBay idea saying: “It’s very early days. We’ll look at it but it would be overstating the case to say it’s back on the agenda at this stage.”
He made his comments to a rail conference in Wellington.