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Auckland’s transport a ‘national emergency’

Media statement
Thursday, August 25th , 2005

Auckland’s transport a ‘national emergency’

The unfinished gaps in Auckland’s road network are costing the country hundreds of millions of dollars a year, making our transport crisis a national emergency, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

“Losing $830 million a year amounts to a national emergency,” said Alasdair Thompson, EMA’s chief executive.

“Auckland stands to earn at least that for the country as a whole each year by completing the western ring route alone.

“Finishing that half built road demands a crisis management response.

“We want the political parties to state they will complete it within 8 years.

“The party that convinces Auckland’s voters they will finish the network fastest can win Auckland.

“The benefits of getting the network completed outweigh the costs 4.6 to one, according to the unchallenged Allen Report, and it could all be done within 8 years.

“Some Aucklanders appear to think there’s adequate funding and consent processing going into our transport crisis. There isn’t.

“Transit’s record over the past 5 years is littered with changing objectives and timing for urgent projects, and ‘unforeseen’ delays.

“The latest example is its current schedule which inexplicably sees the funding of road construction plummet after 2007/8, dropping from over $400 million next year to about half that in 2009/10.

“Funding levels have to be steadily increased to build contractor capacity and stop the stop-start delays; the funding is available to do it.

“Finishing the network represents a ‘national interest’ that no growth inspired government can afford to lose.”

ENDS

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