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Election pitch responds to Auckland's transport

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

Classy election pitch responds to Auckland's transport crisis

The extra $330 million for new transport projects announced today is a classy pitch for Auckland votes, says Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern)

Of the extra $500 million announced days after EMA's REVUP campaign was made public, $280 million is earmarked for new Auckland roads over the next four years, and $50 million for new public transport infrastructure.

"The war chest for getting serious work done on Auckland's transport is rapidly growing," Mr Thompson said. "But there's someway to go yet.

"To complete all the public transport and road projects needed in the Auckland region over the next 15 years will cost $16 billion.

"The commitment to complete the long overdue Western ring route is particularly welcome though the time proposed to do it - by 2016 - is far too long and due to RMA processes.

"By making its completion dependent on Auckland accepting tolls for it Transit included a clever let out, if the time frame is not kept.

"Right now the worrying hold up is the lack of public transport projects ready to build.

"The spotlight is on ARTA to get these ready, and achieving a quick decision on electrifying the rail network so urgently needed rolling stock can be ordered."

ENDS

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