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Committee endorses an improved transport proposal

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL MEDIA RELEASE

20 July 2007

Committee endorses an improved transport proposal

A better proposal to improve transport in Auckland's eastern suburbs was endorsed by Auckland City Council's Transport and Urban Linkages Committee at its meeting today.

The $1.5 billion Auckland-Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) proposal has been improved following consultation with the community and an urban design review.

The recommended AMETI proposal's indicative cost is now $1.329 billion over 15 years and includes:

* reducing the footprint for Mt Wellington Highway while allowing for bus lanes, service lanes as well as walking and cycling improvements * replacing the underpass at the Mt Wellington Highway and Waipuna Road intersection with a new local street running beside the rail corridor, reducing the width of Mt Wellington Highway * including a cover over the new street and rail corridor at Panmure rail station, between Ellerslie-Panmure Highway and Mountain Road * access to the new Sylvia Park rail station and improvements to the intersection of Carbine Road and the South Eastern Highway (SEART) are provided by grade-separation, in this case a bridge * no widening of Carbine Road between SEART and Waipuna Road * maintaining existing access to Ireland Road from Waipuna Road.

AMETI proposes significant changes in passenger transport investment, improved walking and cycling connections as well as new and enhanced arterial roads for freight and business trips.

"We need to deliver a package of transport solutions to give people living and working in the city's eastern suburbs more travel choices," says Councillor Richard Simpson, the chairperson for the committee.

"We need to make travelling by bus and rail more convenient and reliable, ensure walking and cycling are more attractive, while creating streets where people want to live and work.

"We will be advocating for the extension of rail into Manukau city to reduce the reliance on cars, and the proposal's major bus routes will be future-proofed for light rail.

"Once the AMETI proposal is delivered, passenger transport use is set to increase by 400 per cent, around 30,000 cars will be removed from the Panmure roundabout and at least 11,000 people will find it easier to walk and cycle during the morning peak.

The committee is also recommending options for ferry services be investigated by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA).

"New ferry services on the Tamaki River provide a great opportunity to improve travel choice in the area. We will advocate to ARTA to explore ferry services, including to and from Panmure," says Mr Simpson.

The committee's recommendations will go before full council for approval when it meets on Thursday, 26 July.

ENDS

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