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Committee backs next stage of Eastern Corridor

Media release
25 October 2002

Council's transport committee backs next stage of Eastern Corridor planning

The transport committee of Manukau City Council has agreed to recommend supporting the next step in development of the Eastern Corridor, a phase 2 detailed study of the options. The recommendation will now go before the full Council meeting on October 31 for a final decision.

On Wednesday Auckland City's transport committee also supported the project moving into phase 2. The councils are partners in the project.

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis is delighted. "I have never seen such strong community support for any other major project in my time as mayor. I've been overwhelmed with people urging me to push ahead with it as fast as possible. The community's been crying out to get action on our roading and other transport problems and virtually everyone in the Howick, Pakuranga and East Tamaki areas will benefit from the improvements this project will bring."

Initial proposals for the Corridor were released in August and Manukau City Council has since received feedback from 96 groups or individuals which will be incorporated into the planning for phase 2. Auckland City has received feedback from 557 individuals or organisations. This feedback does not constitute consultation and full public consultation will take place later in the project once more detailed plans are drawn up.

The decision by both councils does not commit them to the strategy recommendations contained in the Eastdor report released in August. However the final design is expected to contain a road as well as public transport options, including bus lanes and a train service.

Manukau City Council's involvement in phase 2 planning has been budgeted at $2.3 million over the next two years. The funding required will be considered during the council's half-year review of budget and expenditure.
Sir Barry says, "The planning in the next phase will be on a very large scale and require much more resources than our previous biggest project, the building of Te Irirangi Drive. That was the largest single piece of infrastructure ever built by a council in New Zealand, and cost $45 million.

"There will definitely be options for public transport as part of the Corridor, and I do not understand how some critics can continually claim that the whole project should be abandoned in favour of public transport. It doesn't make sense because there will be provisions for buses and trains."


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