Govt Running Late To Deliver Auck Rail Corridors
8 July 2001
Govt Running Late To Deliver Auckland Rail Corridors
The decision by Auckland councils to use conventional and light rail to deliver rapid transport to Aucklanders puts the heat on the Government to deliver the promised rail corridors, National's Transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon said today.
"The Government muscled in and took over negotiations from Auckland local authorities with Tranz Rail because it thought it could do a better job.
"The Government said it could meet the deadline of 30 June so that necessary equipment decisions could be made in time. That deadline has passed. It's now talking about the end of August. But those close to the deal say that's looking increasingly unlikely.
"It came in as the facilitator, but the Government has now become the blockage. Rather than being part of the solution, it is part of the problem.
"The Auckland councils have made a commitment to improve Auckland's public transport as part of the solution to Auckland's congestion problems. They're doing their bit; the Government has to do its bit.
"Without a decision soon we'll be in the farcical situation of having the brand new Waitemata transport terminal without access to the rail corridors to use it.
"Until there is certainty about the rail corridor access it's impossible for financial commitments to be made by interested parties on equipment and additional infrastructure.
"Instead of picking up where the councils left off the Government seems to have wasted time going back to square one, recreating the wheel.
"The Government was elected on its promise to fix Auckland's transport problems. It needs to get some runs on the board," Ms Vernon said.