CBD Rail Loop: “Just Get On With It”


ARC Chair Mike Lee today repeated his call for the CBD rail loop to happen.

“No argument, I”m just concerned someone now needs to get on with it,” he told the council’s transport and urban development meeting, which  formally endorsed the chosen option for the route and station, already endorsed by ARTA and KiwiRail.

Mike Lee said the choices provided the “best option” and the idea of a Upper Symonds St/Newton Rd station was a “creative idea,” that will enhance the area.

The other stations will be Aotea, under Albert St between the intersections of Victoria and Wellesley Sts, with public access from the two corners at Wellesley St and potentially SkyCity and around the Elliott St /Victoria St Bungy Jump area - and K Rd at Pitt Street with access from Beresford Aquare and K Rd.

All three areas are seen as having huge potential for future development and population growth.

The meeting was told that the the actual loop would take four years to be constructed but the process from signoff would total between seven and 10 years in total.

The project is now in phase 2. This is the concept design work to identify a required footprint and business case work to identify the benefits.

It would look at the cost benefits and future transport option benefits and, critically how to fund it including considering whether that involved Government, private partnerships or private land values.

Between September and December, there will be the preparation of the formal Notice of Requirement, and then it goes to the transport minister and Government.

Councillor Joel Cayford noted that the current stage involves some consideration of an NZTA “manual” and urged that the issue could not be allowed to be assessed as a highway project would be as the wider economic benefits needed to be fully assessed.




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    Mike Lee is really just trying to complete the Halcrow Report of 1950 which was ditched in favour of the motorway plan as it was “too expensive”…
    If the tunnel is $1.5 b it shows the Halcrow reports recommendations (electrification and a tunnel) would have been much cheaper at $3.1 b (in today dollars) than whatever ridiculous amount we have spent on motorways thus far…

  2. max says:

    Mike Lee is really just trying to get as much public transport (and personal) mileage out of his soon-to-be-finished position of regional council boss.

    Which I think is perfectly OK, especially as no one asked us at the polls whether we want the super city, and we will have to wait a long time to see whether the new Council, in combination with the Auckland Transport CCO, will be any good at driving PT projects.

  3. jarbury says:

    He’s certainly worried (and with good reason potentially) that the future Auckland Transport CCO won’t be nearly as keen as ARTA is on progressing this project.

    Especially if its board are all Steven Joyce like road fetishists.

  4. Matt L says:

    One problem with the ARC is they are only now really pushing for this stuff. It would have been much better if they had pushed harder for it a few years ago.

  5. max says:

    Hard to push believably for stuff when you have no money! They fought for years just to get the funding (finally going for the fuel tax, then getting that canned at the last moment).

    We shouldn’t blame them for literally having fought a very long uphill struggle getting rail to Auckland. If anyone is to blame for dragging their feet, it remains Government(s).

    Mike Lee’s legacy is still electrification and double tracking, in my view. It is a shame he may not be able to reap any political rewards from that.

  6. Simon says:

    @Matt. You`re being just a bit harsh aren`t you? Mike Lee has driven the most development we`ve had in PT, particularly rail for many decades. However for you it`s still not enough. Just goes to show you can never please some people! BTW haven`t seen your name in the press driving a CBD tunnel for the last 5 years though there`s been nothing to stop you. Do you even remember what Auckland`s rail service was like just 5 or 6 years ago? I suspect you don`t because you wouldn`t have written what you did above. Or otherwise you`re just incredibly ungrateful. Sorry but that adjective comes to mind when reading your comment above.

  7. Jeremy Harris says:

    If it was up to me Mike Lee would be Auckland Emperor…

  8. Rationale says:

    I agree with Mike - just get on with it and most of all don’t let up on the Minister who has no money except to fund outlandish road projects.
    Start at Auckland Airport, drive to Taupo and count the project’s $$$$. Don’t bother to count in less than billions, the rest is their loose change.
    Be warned, for those of you who want to blame Joyce and Co, that these projects were started by the previous labour government. I’m thinking that in reality any money spent on rail is to appease the environmental, local government and rail lobby. Joyce has even referred to the rail lobby in at least one speech. We just have to keep the pressure up.

  9. Matt L says:

    Simon – I know very well what the trains were like 5-6 years ago and yes we have come a long way since then which is great. The new stations are excellent and the service has improved, particularly out west as the double tracking has progressed. I am really looking forward to the continued improvement when New Lynn is completed and then the electrification of the network. What I am saying though is that the ARC are now very vocal about getting more improvements which is great but we could be even closer to these things if they had been this vocal a few years ago.

    As an example, in 2005 an investigation was done into the CBD tunnel, after it was completed nothing was done about it, they should have at least got the designation done for it as that would have been one less thing to do now.

    Also Mike Lee has himself admitted they are now pushing harder than they did in the past, this is an excerpt from the Herald in December, it was in an article talking about trams to tank farm (BTW Jon any news on this)

    But regional chairman Mike Lee said that, with his organisation set to be supplanted in 11 months by the new Auckland Council, it was time to redouble efforts “to leave a legacy for the benefit of the people of the region”.
    “To some extent we are like a cricket team down to the last 10 overs - we may be near the end of the game but it is time to start the big hitting,” he said.

  10. Jon C says:

    @Matt L Yes, ARC officers are working on the feasibility of it and will report to its transport committee this time next month on progress.


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