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Issues Broader Than Transport

Transport planning for Auckland must address more than just congestion, Auckland’s mayor Chris Fletcher told the New Zealand Land Transport Summit today.

A “quick fix” to the problem was unlikely. Nor was congestion likely to be made to disappear just by pouring more money into existing decision-making systems.

“Transport planning must be tackled within a broader context of economic, environmental and social goals.”

Among the goals were cleaner air, providing to jobs and services for Aucklanders who cannot or choose not to use a car and promoting physical health and safe communities.

In particular, Auckland needed to ensure it could keep in step with the cities it competes with for investment and people.

“Cities like Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Vancouver are investing heavily in public transport systems linked to long term strategic growth plans. Their emphasis is on maintaining those cities as attractive places to live and invest.”

“They are recognising that their future competitiveness will be strongly influenced by their ability to attract the kind of people and businesses that a successful city of the 21st century will need. Such people will have internationally portable skills. They will increasingly look to cities and regions that offer the quality of life they seek.”

“Quality of life will be provided through mobility, access to employment and education, vibrant city centres, reduced crime, good entertainment and sports, plenty of open space and affordable and good quality housing.”

She told the summit the balance of investments in passenger transport and roading improvements proposed by Auckland’s local government leaders was part of a long-term, overall development and accessibility strategy for Auckland.

“Gaining access to the rail corridors is a critical component of our plans. If we have the corridors, we have something to negotiate with, something to leverage off to create opportunities for new partnerships with the private sector, therefore offsetting the risk to ratepayers in terms of both capital and operational expenditure. A regional approach is essential by Auckland’s councils. The over-riding aim is to ensure that Auckland has the tools and investment for us to be a world class, competitive, small city.”

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
Mayor Chris Fletcher, tel: 025 276 0013.

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