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"Urgent" Airport Rail Petition Launched

Media Release From the Campaign for Better Transport

11 November 2007

"Urgent" Airport Rail Petition Launched

The Campaign for Better Transport has announced the launch of a petition in support of an electric rail link to Auckland Airport, via Onehunga and Mangere.

At a standing room only presentation to Mangere Bridge residents last Thursday, CBT spokesperson Cameron Pitches reported that Transit would like to commence enabling works for the Second Manukau Harbour Crossing project as soon as March of next year.

"However, if the motorway duplication project goes ahead in its current form there is clearly no room for a double track electrified rail link to the airport as well. We have to act fast," said Mr Pitches.

The meeting, also attended by Manukau City Councillor Hugh Henry-Graham, Mangere Community Board representatives and Auckland City councillors Graeme Easte and Leila Boyle, concluded with a resolution to support the airport rail proposal, which was passed unanimously.

The ARC Transport and Urban Development Committee Chair, Christine Rose, also spoke enthusiastically about the need for the airport rail link.

Former broadcaster Merv Smith suggested that Auckland and Manukau City Councils should use the strength of their shareholdings in Auckland International Airport Ltd to force improvement to public transport services.

The petition asks the various Auckland transport agencies and Transit to work together to designate a suitable corridor for the railway line, before construction of the Second Manukau Harbour Crossing commences.

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The petition is available from the CBT website www.bettertransport.org.nz.

Meanwhile, the CBT is continuing with its appeal to the Environment Court over the issue.

"Manukau City Council and Transit are pushing for the duplicate motorway to be started as soon as possible. At a time of record oil prices we think that electric rail is an alternative option that has to be considered for its environmental, social and economic benefits," concludes Mr Pitches.

ENDS

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