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Second Manukau Crossing "Doesn’t Add Up"


22 October 2007

Media Release: Second Manukau Crossing "Doesn’t Add Up"

The Campaign For Better Transport today questioned why the $250m second Manukau Harbour Crossing project is continuing in its present form.

Spokesperson Cameron Pitches said, "We've just seen record high oil prices this week.  Transit's traffic assessment for the project assumes that petrol prices will be constant.  Clearly this is not a valid assumption – we could end up with a highway with no one on it."

Transit's traffic assessment concludes that by 2021 an additional 35,000 vehicles a day will make use of the four extra motorway lanes that are being built as part of the Manukau Harbour Crossing project.

"But nowhere in the assessment do they state what the price of petrol will be in 2021.  We know from Transit’s own traffic volume reports that recent high petrol prices do have an impact on the amount people drive."

The Campaign For Better Transport thinks it would be prudent to allow room for electrified rail extending south from Onehunga to Mangere and Auckland Airport.  However, Transit’s current plans will leave no room for a rail corridor on the south side of the bridge.

This means that the cost of acquiring additional land by either reclamation or compulsory acquisition will add considerably to any potential rail project, claims Mr. Pitches.

The Campaign For Better Transport has filed an appeal in the Environment Court over the issue.

In the appeal, the Campaign for Better Transport argues that Transit has not given proper consideration to transport alternatives, and haven’t clearly demonstrated the benefits and costs of the project.

Integration with the new Onehunga railway station, due to open in December 2009,  does not feature in Transit's plans.

Transit have also announced that they will not now be upgrading the Gloucester Park interchange at Onehunga as was originally intended.  This will “increase pressure on Onehunga Harbour Road, which is wholly unsuited to heavy traffic”, according to Transit’s own traffic assessment

"With such key aspects of the project missing, it is time for a rethink.  We keep hearing that the second crossing is needed for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but Transit’s own traffic modelling doesn’t suggest this at all.  We still have time to get it right.", concludes Mr Pitches.

-- ends --

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