East West Link critical
7 August 2017
Waterview tunnel traffic and third rail combo makes East West Link critical
“It is unfortunate that the new Labour leader did not consult the Auckland business community before announcing they would scale back the East West Link project,” said Auckland Chamber of Commerce head, Michael Barnett.
Pre the opening of the Waterview Tunnel NZTA traffic counts indicate that around 11,500 vehicles a day came off the Western Ring Route at Onehunga. Recent traffic counts indicate the number has increased to around 14,000. In the absence of the East West Link, this traffic is forced to go through the Onehunga retail area and is adding to the heavy congestion on Neilson and Church streets.
Currently 6,000 heavy trucks a day use Neilson St, many to access the Southdown Rail Freight terminal. With Labour and National both confirming a third rail line between Wiri and Westfield, there is projected to be a substantial increase in road and rail freight access to the rail terminal.
The East West Link will become even more critical to the efficient access of heavy trucks to the rail head, said Mr Barnett
“To a large extent solving Auckland’s transport issues is about planning and building an integrated transport network that provides for efficient movement of both goods and people around the city.”
“A much improved public transport system is needed, but so is a more efficient system for moving the city’s vital cargo and goods.”
The East West Link has a strong business case with a projected $2.90 return for every $1 spent. We have yet to see the business case for a light rail connection to the Airport and how it will stack up against the other public transport services.