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Greens would fund 60 percent of CBD rail

27 October 2011

Greens would fund 60 percent of CBD rail

Central Government can afford to fund at least sixty percent of Auckland CBD rail link, to boost the economy and give Aucklanders better options to get around their city, said the Green Party today.

“The Auckland Council’s draft long term plan shows they are desperate to fund crucial bus and rail projects — the Government can support them if it adopts a more balanced transport programme,” said Gareth Hughes, Green Party transport spokesperson.

Mr Hughes was responding to the draft Auckland Long Term Plan released today that suggested the Government pay for half the cost of the rail link.

“By voting for Len Brown and supporting his vision, Aucklanders have shown they want more investment in high quality buses and rail into the city — not a new motorway to get them out.

“Auckland is speaking with one voice — the Government needs to start listening with both ears,” said Mr Hughes.

“The Government is pursuing a totally unbalanced transport funding policy — spending more than $14 billion on new motorways over the next 10 years while refusing to commit any funding to the CBD rail link,” said Mr Hughes.

“By cutting spending on uneconomic motorways, such as the Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway and the Wellington Northern Corridor, we can free up enough funds to pay for urgently needed rail projects, such as the CBD rail link,” said Mr Hughes.

“The events of the Rugby World Cup opening showed clearly the need to increase our rail system’s capacity — right now if a train stops in Britomart tunnel it literally jams the whole rail system for hours.

“The CBD rail link would allow us to run twice as many services and significantly cut journey times from West Auckland, moving as many people per hour as 10 motorways lanes.

“The CBD rail link would also make Auckland rail services more reliable — last month only 83 percent of Auckland trains arrive on time. That means over 15 percent of services were late — this is not good enough.”

Mr Hughes said the Green Party also supported giving the Auckland Council alternative funding mechanisms, so they would not have to rely solely on rates to pay for their share of the project.

“The Green Party backs Auckland’s vision for a vibrant city with smart transport. We’ll make it happen.”

ENDS

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