Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Auckland Rail System - A Blind Leap Of Faith

Spending tens of millions of dollars on the Auckland rail network will do little to reduce traffic congestion in the city, Road Transport Forum chief executive Tony Friedlander said today.

“Trucking operators who use Auckland roads are as keen as anyone to see the problem alleviated, but spending millions on buying the railway tracks is not the answer.”

Mr Friedlander said 1996 figures showed that only 1 percent of Aucklanders used rail to get to work, and nothing suggests this figure is likely to increase to a level that would have any significant impact on traffic congestion.

He said the movement of many Auckland jobs from the Central Business District (CBD) to the suburbs over the years is a major factor in the decline in the numbers using rail in the region.

“Services to the CBD were once used because many places of work were within walking distance of railway stations. But the suburbanisation of many jobs has meant that is no longer a viable option for most people, or the rail operator, as Tranz Rail has found.

Mr Friedlander said this point was highlighted by the fact that only 11 percent of Aucklanders jobs were now based in the CBD.

“When people working outside the CBD need to drive to a railway station, catch the train and then transfer to another form of transport to get to work, rail is not an attractive option due to inconvenience, time and cost. Under these circumstances, they prefer to drive directly from home to work.”

Mr Friedlander said this was a fact that must be faced by the decision-makers. “Trucking operators and their clients are sick and tired of seeing freight costs rise because of road congestion and desperately want it alleviated. But they take offence when their money is squandered for extravagant ‘alternatives to roads’ that look unlikely to work.

“We’re not opposed to the development of an efficient passenger transport system if it gets a significant amount of cars off the roads, but rail does not appear to be the answer.


“Clearly, the current Auckland rail system is not working. But it seems a detailed analysis of all the costs involved in reversing this has not been done, or an accurate estimate of the numbers likely to use the service. Upgrading stations, car parking, tracks and the trains will all be needed, but no one has produced any figures to show how much this will cost or who will pay for it. On-going subsidies would probably also be needed. Until all this is accurately costed, how can the deal be seen as anything more than a huge leap of faith?” said Mr Friedlander.

“The primary means to fixing the problem is to complete the Auckland motorway system and compliment it with an efficient passenger transport service that works. Any move to commit the region to the dream of a complete railway system before it has been fully budgeted and its viability determined, would be totally irresponsible.”

ENDS

Details: Tony Friedlander Ph: 04 472 3877 Mob: 025 483 163

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news