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"Colossal backdown" with new eastern corridor plan

"Colossal backdown" with new eastern corridor plans

Auckland City mayoralty contender, Bruce Hucker, describes the latest version of plans for the eastern corridor as "a colossal backdown".

"The eastern highway remains a road to nowhere," he says. "It's a colossal backdown from the original $4 billion version but would still be hugely disruptive and for doubtful benefits.

"Moreover, although it has been scaled back to perhaps $1.5 billion, it's still hugely expensive and claiming funds desperately needed for other roading and public transport projects."

Dr Hucker said he applauded the continuance of an extra railway line through part of the corridor but the proposed project still had serious problems.

"Among other things it would struggle for a high level of funding from Transfund because it wouldn't be a state highway. It shows no link to State Highway One in the central city and the roading element would be hugely disruptive - especially with the massive interchange at Orakei and another at St Johns contributing to congestion in local streets.

"It would need tolls to help fund it and yet it would offer only 80km/h and in some areas 50km/h speed limits. It has an additional achilles heel in that there is no agreement as yet with the Auckland Regional Council to improve public transport as part of the mix.

"You have to ask, really, what's it all for when there is so much serious work needing doing in other places?"

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