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Manukau Backs Eastern Corridor Proposal

Manukau Backs Eastern Corridor Proposal

Manukau City Council's transport committee has voted to support the preferred Eastern Transport Corridor Option released by Opus Consultants in March.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says it is a historic decision for Manukau and for the region and the most important strategic decision the Council has taken in 20 years.

Manukau is the first of the three partners in the project to consider and formally support the option route. The other two, Auckland City Council and Transit, are to consider their decisions in the near future.

Sir Barry told the committee that if they rejected the proposal, their children and grandchildren would never forgive them.

"The congestion we face now will only get worse if we do not take the right steps to improve our roading system, and our public transport. The Eastern Corridor is an essential part of that process.

"The Corridor is long overdue and I am an ardent supporter of it as a key part of the 10-year roading plan to complete the motorway network which will mean all routes interlink.

"The Regional Economic Development Strategy recognises the importance of completing the roading network and upgrading public transport at the same time.

"Congestion is costing a billion dollars a year in dollar terms alone. It is also harming the quality of life as more and more people are stuck in traffic and face long travel delays.

"It's also holding back economic growth in the region, and preventing Auckland becoming an internationally competitive city. The Eastern Corridor will enable people and goods to move effectively and efficiently throughout the region and stimulate economic growth along its length.

"Ti Rakau Drive in Pakuranga is an integral part of the Corridor and properties must be purchased to facilitate the creation of cycleways, bus lanes and service roads. Further work is needed for the Allen's Road proposal and I support that.

"Bus lanes will be an essential feature of the Corridor. The planned bus lanes extending from Te Irirangi Drive through to Ti Rakau and then on to Panmure will have the potential to carry more people than the North Shore bus lane.

"It is completely false to claim that the Corridor will merely provide a faster route for Manukau residents to drive to the CBD in downtown Auckland City.

"Only 8% of journeys north along the Corridor route will end in the CBD. Instead, the Corridor will be an arterial route with vehicles getting on and off at points along the route. Few journeys will travel the entire length, either from Manukau north or from the CBD to Manukau. It will also get heavy traffic off suburban roads such as Kepa Road.

Sir Barry says fast and regular buses and train services will be part of the Corridor.

"Former Auckland mayor Sir Dove Myer Robinson had a vision for an upgraded rail system decades ago. Regretfully, he did not have the necessary support and the region has paid the price dearly ever since. But I believe the changes begun recently will persuade many more people onto buses and trains."

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