Saturday, May 18, 2024

‘Labour’s biggest fails: Zero metres of light rail’

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The proposed Auckland Light Rail Route Map (left); Auckland Light Rail visual of Sandringham Station. Photo/image supplied

Five years after promising to build light rail in Auckland by 2021, Labour has failed to deliver even one metre of track, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Labour’s flagship election promise back in 2017 was to build light rail from Mt Roskill to Auckland CBD by 2021.

“But after five years of failure, all Transport Minister Michael Wood has to show for it is a circus of working groups, many millions spent on consultants, and a broken promise.

“$66 million has been spent on light rail so far, and two thirds of that has just made consultants all the richer. It’s a light rail gravy train for consultants, paid for by the taxpayer.

“A year after it was meant to be completed, not one cent has been spent on construction.

“Despite the complete lack of delivery, Labour insists on ploughing ahead and wasting up to $29.2 billion on this vanity project because it can’t let go of one of the Prime Minister’s core 2017 election promises.

“We are now a long way from the estimated $6 billion for light rail in 2018 when the NZ Super Fund was proposing to build it, but I’m betting this project will never see the light of day.

“Other honourable mentions in Labour’s five years of failure on transport are the $51 million spent on the cancelled Auckland cycle bridge, NZTA’s declining delivery despite tripling its comms staff to 97, the potholes plaguing New Zealand’s roads and families struggling with added costs imposed by the car tax and the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax during a cost-of-living crisis.

“Minister Wood will have to go to the 2023 election having failed to deliver on Labour’s biggest transport promise back in 2017.

“National will scrap Auckland light rail for its gigantic waste of time and money.”

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