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A big step forward leaves a smaller footprint

Joint Release: Auckland City Council - Manukau City Council - Transit NZ

25 August 2004

A big step forward leaves a smaller footprint

The Eastern Transport Corridor Steering Group today received a modified scheme for the eastern transport corridor which is estimated to achieve between 70 and 75 per cent of the transport benefits of the option released in March 2004, while being smaller, more affordable and less intrusive.

Councillor Greg McKeown, Eastern Transport Corridor Steering Group chairperson, says the new scheme from Opus International Consultants is a step forward, but more work still needs to be done.

“The process we will follow over the next few months will be similar to that when the option was released in March. The steering group has received the modified scheme report today and will be asked to make recommendations on it to the three project partners once they have had time to consider it fully,” says Mr McKeown.

“At the same time, the project partners want to get public feedback on the modified scheme and will be providing information on websites and in community libraries.”

Opus have emphasised that their report is an interim one and that formal, comprehensive public consultation and further assessments of social, community and environmental impacts will need to be undertaken after the steering group and project partners have provided their feedback.

“This proposal reduces impact on properties, communities and the environment. It has a scale that more closely matches the capacity of the current roading network. In this respect, the modified option is a significant improvement on the previous one,” says Mr McKeown.

“Improving passenger transport services for the eastern suburbs of Auckland is a vital part of getting the transport mix right,” says Mr McKeown.

“Without a commitment to improved infrastructure, services and funding for passenger transport, implementing travel demand management solutions, and improved urban design using transit orientated development principles around our town centres, many of the benefits of developing the eastern transport corridor will not be realised.”

The modified scheme was requested in June after Auckland City’s Transport Committee rejected the full, multi-lane scale option, estimated to cost between $2.8 and $3.2 billion. The modified scheme cost is estimated at between $1 and $1.4 billion.

ENDS

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