Wednesday, February 21, 2024

MP: We’re getting transport back on track in Auckland

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National’s draft Government Policy Statement will confirm the Roads of National Significance, like Mill Road [pictured] and East West Link, are back. Times photo Wayne Martin
Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.

“Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At the same time, we also need to ensure that we are maintaining and repairing our existing network,” Brown, the MP for Pakuranga, says.

“The previous Government focused on slowing Aucklanders down and making big promises on things like light rail, while cancelling critical projects like Mill Road and the East West Link.

“Acknowledging the essential role of transport in Auckland’s future, our Government will prioritise the delivery of key infrastructure projects aimed at alleviating congestion, enhancing productivity, and building a transport network that is not only more reliable, but also resilient.

“To make this happen, I am currently writing a new draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport as part of our 100-day plan.

“We’ll be refocusing the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) on the basics – building and maintaining the roading network to support economic growth, reliable public transport and delivering a safe network which makes efficient use of every dollar spent. Maintenance and fixing potholes are also immediate priorities.

“Our draft GPS will confirm the Roads of National Significance, like Mill Road and East West Link, are back, underscoring our commitment to critical infrastructure that supports economic growth and regional development.

“On public transport, key priorities will be on the completion of the City Rail Link and Eastern Busway, followed by the Northwest Transit Corridor and the Airport to Botany Busway.”

Brown has told NZTA that a more realistic and cost-effective proposal for the Waitemata Harbour crossing should be investigated to focus more on better connectivity and resilience.

“The previous Government’s proposal for the Waitemata Harbour crossing was unaffordable, unrealistic, and unfunded. We’ll be looking at pursuing options that help enhance the Northern Busway, and overall harbour connectivity and resilience,” Brown says.

“I’m committed to working with Auckland Council on delivering a transport network in Auckland that represents value for money, enables strong economic growth and productivity and delivers better connectivity and resilience.

“I look forward to having constructive conversations with [Auckland] mayor Wayne Brown on these issues.”

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