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Cmttee. recommends next steps for eastern corridor

MEDIA RELEASE


13 December 2004


Committee recommends next steps
for eastern transport corridor

Auckland City’s Transport and Urban Linkages Committee has recommended the next steps to progress the eastern transport corridor.

The recommendations follow an officer report reviewing the modified option prepared by Opus International Consultants in September 2004.

The report identified a need to improve transport choices and infrastructure in the east and south east of the city.

“There is a serious and urgent need to improve transport in the south-eastern suburbs of the city,” says Councillor Richard Simpson, chairperson of the Transport and Urban Linkages Committee.

“Massive growth is being experienced and must be catered for to unlock the potential along the Tamaki Edge, in the suburbs of Glen Innes, Panmure and Mt Wellington. This growth is creating additional demand for transport solutions, but a road across Hobson Bay is not the answer.”

The committee recommends closer collaboration with the newly formed Auckland Regional Transport Association (ARTA) to progress passenger transport initiatives.

“We are urgently seeking ARTA’s involvement as a partner, along with Transit New Zealand and Manukau City Council, to deliver comprehensive and co-operatively agreed answers, offering new travel choices,” says Mr Simpson.
As well as the removal of the roading component across Hobson Bay, a revised brief for the project has been proposed by the committee including:
- involving the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) to lead passenger transport initiatives
- negotiating a new memorandum of understanding between Transit New Zealand, Manukau city and Auckland city councils and ARTA
- continuing to protect the existing designations, retaining land in the long term transport interests on Auckland city
- developing the passenger transport components of the corridor and not the roading components from Glen Innes to the CBD
- investigating local road improvements along the Tamaki edge to better connect with State Highway 1 and the North Island Main Trunk Line
- confirming funding requirements and sources.

The committee’s recommendations will be presented to the full council meeting on 16 December 2004.

Ends
Notes to Editor:
- The current phase of the eastern transport corridor project is planned to end when the project partners (Transit New Zealand, Manukau city and Auckland city councils) choose the preferred option for the development of the corridor. This is yet to occur.
- Opus International Consultants presented a $3 billion option to the project partners in March 2004. Auckland City considered this option in June and rejected it with the exception of the preferred route, requesting a downscaled option be prepared.
- The downscaled or modified scheme was completed in September 2004 and presented to the project’s political steering group. Auckland City has not considered the modified scheme.
- The council agreed on the removal of the road component of the eastern transport corridor between Glen Innes and the CBD at its meeting on 11 November 2004.
- Copies of the council officer’s report reviewing the modified scheme are available at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz or by contacting Janine Brennan (details given above).
- Councillor Richard Simpson’s opening remarks to the committee meeting are attached.


Opening remarks by Councillor Richard Simpson, chairperson, prepared for delivery at the first Transport and Urban Linkages Committee.


10 December 2004


Today is a defining day for this committee.
In a way, it’s Eastern Transport Corridor day.
It is the day we save Hobson Bay.

But while we bury the idea of a motorway across a precious bay – a matter of celebration for some, disappointment for others – we do not bury our very real and most serious transport problems.

This must also be the day, when we consider the future of the Eastern Transport Corridor – that we do three things:
- acknowledge there is a serious and urgent need to improve transport choices in the south east
- acknowledge massive growth is already underway there and must be catered for, and
- urgently recruit the Auckland Regional Transport Authority as a partner, with Manukau City and Transit, in delivering comprehensive, co-operatively agreed answers.

We must have the wit to:
- better move people and goods
- enjoy the fabulous growth now underway and at the same time
- make sure we keep this - make this - a city worth living in.

We don’t need another three years of reporting. We have already invested millions to define the issues surrounding south-eastern transport.

What we need now is action to deliver transport choices.
The development is already on its way. It will not be reversed:
- the population of Glen Innes, Panmure and Sylvia Park will grow from 12,000 to 32,000 in the next 20 years
- up to 8000 people are going to be housed in Mt Wellington quarry site
- Auckland University’s Tamaki Campus is going to host 10,000 students
- the bulldozers are already at work at Sylvia Park – the site of the southern hemisphere’s biggest retail development.
- an innovation park development has started – to provide another up to 6000 jobs.
- additional commercial and residential developments in Newmarket are planned, generating commuter and household journeys and attracting visitor trips
- peak period work related trips between the south east of Auckland City and neighbouring suburbs in Manukau are coming, along with
- greater freight, goods and services movements to and from the south east, and
- vehicle volumes on arterial routes and local collector roads in the south-east are also going to rise.

The city, the region and the country cannot dodge the challenges this growth presents. It’s important that all of those involved in these developments embrace the rapid transit future and do not become anachronisms – irreversibly tied down to roads only.

Equally, we cannot dodge the view of voters who have said, let’s have the benefits of this growth, but let’s make sure it is achieved while delivering a system which allows us to move, while preserving our precious bays and natural form.

So today is a watershed day.

A defining day on how we will capture major benefits while delivering common-sense solutions.

After today, there’ll be an urgent need for ARTA to respond to a compelling invitation to join with us, with Manukau and Transit – to deliver co-operation and agreed answers.

I would like them to say yes to working together immediately. To making sure we have a comprehensive regional approach, which works right down to local level.

I would like to see some of those answers delivered this year. Others, we know, will take three. Auckland does not have the luxury of another 30.

Today we replace the motorway dreams of the 1960s, with a determined common-sense drive to cater for growth, make our place worth living in and worth leaving to the next many generations.

I invite you to join me in working for that during the next few hours, the next three years.


Ends

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