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ARC says ‘some gaps’ in Eastern Corridor Study

ARC says ‘some gaps’ in Eastern Corridor Study process

ARC’s Strategic Policy Committee today approved the Council’s submission to the Eastern Corridor Strategy Study, empahsising the study’s own conclusion that more work was needed.

Committee Chair Cr. Ian Bradley says the study is only one step in a process to identify the best environmental and transport option for the Eastern corridor and that the ARC recognises the need to work cooperatively with the study partners.

"However, the decision after Phase 1, to go with ETC (Eastern Transport Corridor) as the preferred option needs better justification if it is to succeed in the long run,” says Cr Bradley.

“On the other hand, in response to the problems involved in the Hobson Bay crossing, Auckland Mayor John Banks has since brought over a team of tunnelling experts who have demonstrated that it would be possible to bury the road, and indeed the rail line, under the mud in a tunnel similar to that used to cross Sydney harbour.

This, together with a decision to bury the sewer that presently runs across the bay, would result in the restoration of a landscape that most believed lost forever."

Areas of concern highlighted at ARC's Strategic Policy Committee today included provision of public transport and its possible effects, transport analysis, and environmental ‘cumulative effects’, for which no assessment has been undertaken.

"There are currently gaps in the information � this is compounded by the time frame given for input by the public and relevant agencies. On reflection this may have been a case of more haste and less speed but I acknowledge the need to give impetus to the region's transport problems which have sat on the backburner for far too long."

Cr. Bradley emphasised ARC's concern that some key supporting reports had only become available at the end of the submission period for the first stage of the project. He added that the second stage must take this into account.

The ARC has formally suggested to both Auckland and Manukau City Councils that they should continue to receive submissions from the community on Phase 1.

"We did ask for an extension of time for public submissions on Phase 1 but the two councils had already resolved to go to Phase 2. The ARC will continue to provide input so that regional interests can be satisfactorily addressed. There must be full and clear justification for the selected option."

In addition, Cr. Bradley said that the ARC was very willing to share its extensive depth of environmental and transport related information.

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