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Council told: ''Get the bulldozers rolling!''

MAYOR’S OFFICE
AUCKLAND CITY

Moving Auckland Forward


Hon John Banks QSO
Mayor of Auckland City

28 June 2004


Council told: “Get the bulldozers rolling!”

Today’s public forum at the Auckland City Council on the Eastern Transport Corridor heard some strong endorsements and calls for urgent and positive action from affected individuals and groups.

The extended public forum will feed into Wednesday’s crucial Transport Committee meeting to principally decide whether to adopt steering group and officers recommendations on alignment.

The Mayor and councillors today heard a wide range of views. Among the comments included:

Geoff Vazey, Ports of Auckland: “It is essential that the Eastern Transport Corridor is constructed at the earliest opportunity given that many of Auckland’s biggest importers, exporters, retailers and distribution centres are located in the south east and urgently need a direct route.”

Alex Swney, Heart of the City: “We commend the Mayor and this council for the way in which they have broadened the scope of the original Eastern Motorway to that of an Eastern Corridor that considers and balances the many modes and funding options available to us.”

Toni Millar, Eastern Bays Community Board: “We support the Eastern Transport Corridor in full… It is very much wanted by the residents of the Eastern Bays community… A reduced corridor of four lanes or less would serve our city well. We need all forms of transport, including public transport, working together… Let’s get it done.”

Graham MacKinnon, Northern Region Road Transport Association: “We request that you use your best endeavours to get the bulldozers rolling… Any other outcome is not socially, commercially or environmentally acceptable.”

Paul Shanahan, businessman: “The corridor seems to be overloaded with the costly provision of cycle and walking lanes which are frankly not wanted nor needed… The only requirement is for vehicular traffic.”

Stephen Selwood, New Zealand Automobile Association: “Lets put the cars where cars should go so people can claim back their communities and local streets. There are huge costs on the community because people haven’t taken the hard decisions.”

Tim Greville, University of Auckland: “If the University is to continue to be a major contributor to the City of Auckland’s economic, social and educational vigour, and success, it will need, as prerequisites, facilities and infrastructure which enable it to deliver those contributions… It is therefore the University’s position that it supports initiatives which grapple with these problems…”

Alasdair Thompson, EMA: “Auckland business needs the Eastern Transport Corridor project to proceed with the utmost urgency. We need to see expressions of interest being called, with work commencing on construction this year. We cannot afford further delays… We want the project on a scale that is appropriate and affordable, and to maximise the use of assets owned by Auckland City and Transit.”

Gordon Davies, Foodstuffs Auckland: “It is estimated that during the last five years the deteriorating traffic situation would account for approximately 20 per cent increase in (Foodstuff’s transport) costs…. The major cause of the problem is that the 200 kilometres of motorway planned some 40 years ago, including the Eastern Highway, has not been built. Only 110 kilometres had been built by the year 2000.”

John McShane, Auckland International Airport: “The Eastern Transport Corridor is a strategic improvement to the motorway network for Auckland… It will provide a material benefit to reducing congestion on the southern motorway.”

Tony Friedlander, Road Transport Forum: “By and large the people that are opposing this are well represented among the highest socio-economic groups. These people are also the highest consumers - consumers of goods that have had to be freighted by trucks… We see the completion of the Auckland motorway network as having national economic significance and frankly we believe you cannot complete the network without completing the Eastern Transport Corridor… The corridor is the only practical and effective option... We see no credible alternative to this.”

John Hynds, Roads Before Rail Trust, businessman: “Lets build the motorway that was planned in 1954, designed and land purchased in 1960. Please lets get on with it.”

Simon Tapper, businessman, Northern Regional Transport Association: “The argument that all containers should be moved by rail cannot withstand the application of logic. It simply doesn’t work. The freight mover has no choice. He has to put his vehicles on the road everyday…. This project represents the only viable option to the southern motorway for the southern and eastern traffic flows.”

Michael Barnett, Auckland Chamber of Commerce: “Last week the Chamber undertook an electronic survey of a part of its membership. In 48 hours we received some 570 responses. To the question ‘do you agree that Auckland and Manukau cities should push on to build the Eastern Corridor as part of the network’s completion,’ 90 percent said yes… We now have a choice – make a decision or pass the problem to our children.”

Mr Banks told submitters that the council was not an apologist for the Opus Report.

The council, he said, does not envisage the corridor being 10, eight or even six lanes wide and that the latest officer advice showed the economic potential of East Tamaki would still be unlocked if a significantly scaled back project proceeded.

The Mayor said that over the next 10 years $3 billion would be spent, both capital and operational expenditure, on improving public transport.


Ends

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