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Progress on Auckland transport alignment highly encouraging

27 AUGUST 2015


Progress on Auckland transport alignment highly encouraging – AA


The Automobile Association (AA) has welcomed the launch of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), which aims to improve alignment between Auckland Council and the Government over the way Auckland’s transport network should develop.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Transport Minister Simon Bridges today signed Terms of Reference for the project, beginning a 12-month process to agree on objectives and targets.

The AA had been calling for closer local-central government alignment on Auckland transport issues for some time, and spokesman Barney Irvine said today’s announcement was highly encouraging.

“We’re delighted to see the two parties together focusing on what’s best for Auckland,” he said. “The Auckland transport debate has been frozen for a long time – at last, it seems the ice is starting to melt.”

Mr Irvine said the ATAP needed to result in a lasting framework for planning and funding decisions, and a transport strategy the Auckland public could get behind for the long term.

“Public confidence in decision-making around Auckland transport issues has been at a low ebb,” he said. “Our surveys show that, to have faith in the programme, Auckland AA Members need to see greater central government involvement, and it looks like this is now going to be a reality.”

Despite the optimism, Mr Irvine cautioned that there were still major challenges ahead, especially when it came to resolving funding issues.

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“There are signs that Aucklanders are willing to pay more to improve the transport network, but they’ll need to see that any new charges are fair, reasonable, and result in meaningful congestion benefits,” he said.

As the process moved forward, the AA would be insisting on a far stronger focus on customers – the people actually using the transport network.

“That means much more clarity about the extra costs people will be facing, and the benefits they’ll get in return,” Mr Irvine said. “It also means being prepared to move gradually on things like new road pricing schemes, to take the community with you.”

Ends

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