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Rail business plan vision endorsed by ARC

Rail business plan vision endorsed by ARC

At its Council meeting this afternoon the Auckland Regional Council endorsed the vision of the Rail Business Plan.

At the conclusion of the meeting Auckland Regional Council Chair, Gwen Bull said “It is a visionary plan with very big goals, we have adopted it in principle and now the work starts with urgency. I have no doubt that we have a lot of challenges in front of us, but with regional cooperation we can achieve a great outcome.”

The plan was funded by Infrastructure Auckland Ltd (IA) Auckland Regional Council (ARC) Auckland Regional Transport Network Limited (ARTNL) and Transfund. Its development has been facilitated by the Boston Consulting and overseen by a Steering Group comprising representatives of the participating organisations.

Council’s resolutions read:

That the report be received.

That the Council restate its service specification and purchasing role with respect to rail services and infrastructure.

That the Council endorse in principle the long term vision proposed in the draft rail business plan subject to:

i) Further investigation of the cost and feasibility of upgrading the existing rail network to cater for significantly increased patronage;

ii) Refinement of the costs and benefits of electrification;

iii) Refinement of the costs and revenues estimated for the core network upgrade stage of the proposed development, including confirmation of the assumptions included in the draft business plan;

Investigation of the feasibility and potential revenue raising ability of TDM/road pricing measures. That investigation should be integrated with the wider regional initiatives being undertaken by the Regional Land Transport Committee;

Development of an agreed protocol for managing and sharing risks of the rail upgrade between relevant parties.

d) That the Council:

i) Request staff to report back to the July meeting of the Passenger Transport Committee with the detailed proposals for implementation of the rail service specification and purchasing role;

ii) Ensure that sufficient resources to successfully implement the Council’s specification and purchase role to enable the implementation of these recommendations are provided within the 2003/2004 Annual Plan and revised LTFS;

iii) Commission the preparation of a master plan for the core upgrade stage of network development to provide increased certainty over the specification of works, cost, timing, programming and consent processes;

iv) Urgently confirm the preferred option for upgrading the ADK units and the requirements for additional interim rolling stock;

v) Urgently commission the design of key elements of infrastructure upgrades, including improved signalling and the double tracking of the Western Line, to enable their implementation as the highest priority;

vi) Amend the interim business plan to provide for additional interim rolling stock and infrastructure as identified in (iv) and (v) above;

vii) Undertake discussions with Infrastructure Auckland, Transfund and other funders to ascertain the availability of funding for the additional interim rolling stock and infrastructure identified in (iv) and (v) above, and for the core upgrade of the network including electrification;

viii) Prepare a consultation programme to ensure that the statutory requirements in respect of the Regional Land Transport Strategy and Regional Passenger Transport Plan, and any other relevant statutory plans, are fully satisfied to ensure funding can be provided to the proposed upgrade scheme;

Ensure that there is ongoing input from the territorial authorities to these processes through the Passenger Transport Subcommittee:

Invite Infrastructure Auckland and Transfund to appoint representatives to the Passenger Transport Subcommittee:

Ensure that the Project Board has appropriate staff support and formal reporting processes to enable it to monitor the implementation of the Interim Business Plan by the ARC and ARTNL, while longer term governance processes are resolved;

e) That copies of this report and the Council’s resolutions be provided to the Auckland territorial authorities, ARTNL, Infrastructure Auckland, Transfund and other key stakeholders for their information.

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