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Council policy change wanted on transport jam

Media Release July
26th, 2000

Council policy change wanted on transport jam

The region's businesses want Auckland City Council to change its policy on how it thinks Infrastructure Auckland funds should be spent.

The Council won't ask Infrastructure Auckland to top up the funding required for the upgrade of the Stanley Street intersection (SH16). An extra $30 million on top of the project's $90 million cost is required if the Council is to forge ahead with its preferred development option involving an excavation to place new roading partly underground.

Instead, the council thinks Transfund should change its rules to accommodate the Council's policy. It's Transport Committee is recommending an approach be made to central government so the preferred development can go ahead without local funding. The council is debating the issues tomorrow, Thursday, July 27th.

"Our transport bottlenecks are centred on Auckland City but our council is playing games over who should pay for what is plainly the best option," said Alasdair Thompson, the chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association.

"We want the development to go ahead as rapidly as possible but we are afraid the council's policy over how it should be funded will cause unnecessary delays.

"Infrastructure Auckland's Deed indicates its funds are for 'public good transport' and stormwater projects. We do not interpret this as only 'public transport'.

"Council thinks IA funds should be reserved for public transport projects only. The other councils in the region won't have the same scruples over their applications, and this could mean IA funds end up going to second rank priorities rather than on our transport bottlenecks.

"We want more public transport too but are concerned that Auckland City Council has no sense of urgency over the issues involved; this is another example.

"Infrastructure Auckland's recently-adopted Long Term Funding Plan states that the 'development of better public transport systems alone will not provide the answer to Auckland's transport problems.' IA has 'resolved to allocate $90 million to roading over the next five years.'

"We think the Council should scrap its policy, ask Infrastructure Auckland for the top up funding needed, and get on with solving our transport problems."

Further comments: Alasdair Thompson tel 09 367 0911 (bus) 09 303 3951 (hme)

025 982 024

(Please refer to attached for Transport Committee's Minutes of its meeting of July 12th, 2000)

( From Minutes of Auckland City Council's Transport Committee, July 12th, 2000)

STATE HIGHWAY 16 GRAFTON GULLY OPTION ASSESSMENT

Transit's Colin Crampton provided a visual presentation to conclude the Options Analysis phase. He introduced Brent Meekan from Beca Carter who outlined the project objectives and Kevin Brewer from Brewer Davidson Architects who provided computer imagery of the options. The Chairwoman moved:

A. That the report of the Manager, Rapid Transport dated 3 July 2000 be received.

B. That the following recommendations be made to Council:

i. That option 2B/6 Below Ground be endorsed as Auckland City Council's preferred option.

ii. That Council does not support an application to Infrastructure Auckland for funding of Option 2B/6.

iii. That Transit New Zealand and Auckland City Council jointly approach central government to ask that Transfund be permitted to fund whichever option emerges as the most preferred following a consultation process, with the sole proviso that the project have a B:C ratio above the cut-off.

iv. That in the event that central government does not permit a relaxation in Transfund's approach as per B(iii) above, then Council indicates that Option 2B At Grade would be its second preference and that Option 4 Viaduct is totally unacceptable.

v. That Auckland City continue to work with Transit New Zealand to resolve issues relating to the introduction of rapid transit into Wellesley Street and to further develop and improve mitigation measures for the roading upgrade. Cr Olsen moved by way of amendment: That resolution B(iv) be amended to delete the words "that Option 2B At Grade would be its second preference and" CARRIED The Chairwoman put the substantive motion which was CARRIED:


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