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National forcing Auckland into second class rail

National forcing Auckland into second class rail

National’s lack of commitment on the Auckland City Rail Link (CRL) is forcing Aucklanders to accept second best for their city rail service, the Green Party said today.

“National has queered the pitch by requiring unrealistic targets be met before it will allow the CRL to proceed,” Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

Auckland Transport today announced it was abandoning plans to build the Newton station for a saving of $150 million and delaying the purchase of 24 more electric trails so the $330 million cost is outside the Auckland City Council’s next 10-year budget.

“Rail patronage is soaring – up 14 percent on last year. This project needs to start now, ” Ms Genter said.

“Instead, National is wasting billions of dollars on motorways, ignoring the fact that Aucklanders favour investment in public transport by a four-to-one margin.

“Decisions about CRL must be made on a long-term, rational basis about what is best for Auckland, not short-term cost cutting.

“This type of infrastructure will have a life of hundreds of years and fundamentally shape the future of the city - it needs to be done right.

“National's lack of funding commitment to the CRL and unrealistic hurdles to delay the project, have forced Auckland Transport and the Council to shave costs.

“It's a false economy to save a tiny percentage on the cost now - but Auckland will have to live with a compromised rail system for centuries.

“The Green Party will fund 60 percent so the CRL project can start on time, next year, and be open by 2020 when it will be desperately needed.

“The City Rail Link is the next essential step in creating a smarter, greener transport network that works for all Aucklanders.

“It will allow twice as many trains to run on the network across the city and provide a train every five minute at peak times. It will reduce travel times from West Auckland to the CBD by up to 28 minutes,” said Ms Genter.


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