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Steering Group sets direction

12 May 2004

Steering Group sets direction for Eastern Transport Corridor

The Eastern Transport Corridor steering group met today to consider the Opus, Berl and Deloitte reports and make recommendations to the Auckland and Manukau City Councils and Transit New Zealand board.

The steering group has recommended that: the Kepa Road, Quarry and Farm Cove alignments be formally discarded the alignments proposed by Opus be adopted as the preferred alignments, but subject to further work on scale, and a number of issues having considered the range of issues raised about Hobson Bay, the steering group on balance favours the Hobson Bay crossing ahead of the Parnell Tunnel, but has agreed that the final decision should be made by Auckland City Council further investigations be undertaken and consideration given to the Allen’s Road route a proposed first stage includes a range of public transport and roading improvements in the Glen Innes, Panmure and Pakuranga areas rail be adopted as the preferred public transport link from Panmure across Hobson Bay to the city, subject to the outcomes of cost-benefit and functionality work by the project partners and the Auckland Regional Council the best means of protecting the preferred route through a combination of property purchase, designation and consenting, and legislative alternatives be reported to the steering group in July, and work on the role of traffic demand management and road pricing be progressed and reported to the steering group in July.

“Starting the project in the Glen Innes, Panmure and Pakuranga areas will support community and economic plans for the area. From a transport perspective it will deliver travel time savings, improved road safety and congestion relief,” says Mr McKeown. “Questions of scale, the role of trains and buses, and funding for this stage are all on the table and will be worked through.”

The steering group has recommended that protecting the route for all future stages is a top priority.

“Consultants and advising officials are still working through options for some stages. It makes sense to be planning how to protect the route after it’s confirmed, ensuring capacity for future transport needs,” says Mr McKeown.

The steering group has also advised that building roads, improving public transport, and providing for safer walking and cycling may not be enough to arrest the growth in congestion.

“Measures such as road pricing may be required, and overseas research and experience indicates that this may be one of the most effective tools for managing congestion,” says Mr McKeown.

“A comprehensive approach is being taken, the project is complex, answers are not easy, but importantly we are tackling the issues and making progress,”

The councils’ transport committees and Transit New Zealand’s board will consider the steering group’s recommendations over the next two months.

ENDS

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