Campaign For Better Transport Concerned About Light Rail Announcement
The government’s light rail announcement today has been greeted by extreme concern from the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT), with the CBT arguing the government needs to revisit the corridor to ensure any improvements in the City Centre to Mangere corridor are cost effective.
The City Centre to Mangere light rail project, at $14 billion, would cost more than the entire Roads of National Significance programme of the previous government, as well as costing more than the recent New Zealand Upgrade Programme. These programmes, the CBT points out, involved a myriad of improvements throughout the country instead of the single corridor light rail project.
In addition, the CBT is concerned about the prospect of light rail being extended to the North Shore. While it welcomes the government looking at a harbour crossing for public transport, the CBT does not think light rail is suitable, especially for any extensions beyond Silverdale should this ever prove necessary.
This massive proposed spend also comes at a time when it is being reported service cuts are being floated for buses in Papakura, East Tamaki, Warkworth, Hobsonville, Otahuhu and Papatoetoe/Otara. Average commuters who have already seen service cuts will undoubtedly endure even more reductions in service and simply be driven to their cars.
The CBT agrees that there needs to be improvements in public transport provision along the City Centre to Mangere corridor, but this needs to be done in a cost-effective manner. More concerningly, this comes at a time when the opposition seem to be talking up significant roading projects again. The CBT urges the government to develop a cost-effective public transport solution that will benefit all Aucklanders and not just the few who live in the City Centre to Mangere corridor.