Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed agreement with Government to spend more on Auckland transport infrastructure and bring forward major transport projects.
The latest update on spending was sought by Council, and local and central government agencies have jointly proposed the new transport spending programme.
Mayor Phil Goff says, “I welcome the fact that new infrastructure will come on-stream earlier and that we have significantly increased the level of investment.
“Unprecedented population growth has outstripped previous projections and the need to invest in our transport infrastructure more quickly is critical.
“Auckland adds 45,000 people a year and our transport system is not coping. Council and Government have identified the need to lift transport spending from $24 billion to nearly $27 billion and bring forward a range of major projects to address growing transport congestion.
“I particularly welcome the commitment of $1.2 billion in the first decade to mass-transit on the isthmus which I believe will be light rail.
“Busways in West and East Auckland and on the Northern motorway will relieve traffic congestion by providing effective public transport alternatives.
“Penlink is also being considered as a tolled PPP road and new arterial routes are funded to service greenfields development.
“The increased budget and projects now go to Council and Government, and are expected to be formally agreed.
“Bridging the funding gap of $5.9 billion is now being negotiated between Council and Government.
“I welcome the Minister’s statement that Government has enough headroom in its budget to make a larger contribution to funding Auckland’s transport infrastructure.
“The hundreds of extra cars being added to Auckland’s roads each week paying more petrol taxes and road user charges will help fund the new projects.
“Auckland has to meet its fair share of the cost and we are considering the best options for how we do that.
“Road pricing such as congestion charging, tolls or a fuel tax in my view better reflect costs falling where there are benefits to the users of transport infrastructure than general rates. We are also exploring other options including targeted rates and value uplift,” Phil Goff said.