NZTA Told North Shore Rail Wanted


NZTA’s top brass has been reminded in no uncertain terms that Auckland Council’s agenda led by the elected Mayor Len Brown is for rail to Albany.
Auckland Council transport committee chair Mike Lee, in a letter to NZTA Regional Director Stephen Town says the long-term objective of rail to the North Shore is a key element of the Mayor’s vision for Auckland -”which as you will be aware carries statutory weight under the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009.
“In addition to the Mayoral vision, the wishes of the public will obviously be of critical importance in informing the provisions of the Auckland (Spatial) Plan,” he tells Mr Town.
The comments come in feedback following the NZTA- released report on a new Auckland harbour crossing, which, will it did not take sides, found another bridge rather than a tunnel would be cheaper.

An NZTA board paper, released to AKT under the Official Information Act, emphasised that another road bridge is the cost-effective solution but does not make any recommendation.
Mr Lee tells NZTA that the release of the study at this time “would seem to be designed to complicate the current debate between the Government and Auckland about the pressing need for Government funding for the CBD rail link.”

The NZTA report claimed it would cost  $3.9 billion for another harbour bridge versus $5.3 billion for tunnels.

The Govt clearly favours another bridge for roading and buses

While the transport committee has not made a call on a tunnel versus a bridge structure, historically Auckland’s previous local bodies were united for a tunnel and for safeguarding rail options.
And the new Council transport committee has passed an motion asking NZTA - with the new Council and Auckland Transport- to investigate options for rapid transit in the North Shore.
And Mr Lee refers to the 2008 technical study led by the transport agency at the time which clearly saw a road and rail tunnel “as the best and most resilient option” for a new crossing.
Mr Lee says in his letter: ” We accept that the 2008 study did not include refined and up-to-date costings for the various crossing scenarios offered, but this was not considered critical at the time for the obvious reason that the project would not required for 20 years.
“It is difficult to see how any costings claiming to be definitive and up-to-date at this stage especially around rapidly evolving technologies, such as transport tunneling can be especially relevant for 2030.”

The Transport Minister has continued to argue the North Shore busway as what North Shore alone needs for public transport and a bridge would enable those buses to cross.





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