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Eastern Corridor Issues Still Need Addressing

20 October 2004

Eastern Corridor Issues Still Need Addressing

Manukau City Council is continuing planning for the introduction of the Eastern Transport Corridor within Manukau City and is looking forward to consultations and collaboration with the newly elected Auckland City Council about improving transport in the region.

Half the planned route lies within Manukau, extending from Te Irirangi Drive at Manukau City Centre in the south to Te Rakau Drive/Pakuranga Road in the north.

Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis has written to newly-elected Auckland City mayor Dick Hubbard regarding future collaboration between the two councils on the route. He says it is in the best interests of both parties to progress significant elements of the work already undertaken.

Sir Barry says Manukau respects the right of the new council in Auckland City to form an opinion on the corridor as it affects Auckland City, and that a decision may be taken to abandon the proposed road connection across Hobson Bay. But he says other parts of the proposed project are worth pursuing.

"I do not wish to see the tremendous amount of planning and research into the Corridor over the past three years wasted. Once Manukau's and Auckland's Corridor plans come to fruition, there will be practical problems that must be considered.

"For example, traffic will intensify in future on Pakuranga Road as it heads towards the Panmure Bridge. Clearly, there must be provision for that extra traffic on the other side of bridge, which is the responsibility of Auckland City. This area is also a bottleneck for buses.

"The need for much-improved roading and public transport services is well-established. The population of the Auckland region grows by around 35,000 people per year and those newcomers need transport options.

"Public transport is an integral part of our planning for the Corridor but it is foolish to believe that more bus, train and ferry services alone can deal with the constantly growing demand for transport. Research confirms that public transport alone cannot cope in such a spread-out region.

"It is not practical to expect long and complex journeys across the region on a slow moving bus. Families on multi-destination journeys need their family wagon. The growing numbers of trucks, vans and commercial vehicles that criss-cross the region need roads to run on and an efficient, modern inter-connected motorway network at that. Roads are essential for modern lifestyles and business operations.

"I personally look forward to discussing this issue with newly elected Auckland City mayor Dick Hubbard and Manukau City Council intends to continue working collaboratively with Auckland City Council and other stakeholders such as ARTA on many transport issues. Historically, our councils have worked very closely on a number of projects. I trust that on this and future projects the same high level of cooperation and collaboration continues," he says.

ENDS

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