National giving up on rail in Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. 

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) confirmed today that it would no longer investigate building a rail line from the city to Auckland airport. This comes just weeks after a document was released showing the NZTA has only protected the route for the second harbour crossing for a car tunnel, ignoring a previous commitment to include rail.

“By not investing in modern rail links to the airport or to the North Shore, National is condemning Aucklanders to a life of sitting in traffic jams for many years to come,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“Although National was finally forced to accept the urgent need for the City Rail Link, they haven’t committed any funding to the project, and are now refusing to work on expanding the rail network.

“The growing number of people catching trains in Auckland shows that people will opt for public transport when it’s efficient and affordable. We must invest in expanding the rail network now to catch-up and keep pace with rapid population growth.

“Aucklanders want a long-term commitment to a modern and reliable rail network in our fastest growing city. Unfortunately that has been undermined by the National’s short term, status-quo thinking.

“It’s ridiculous for John Key to dismiss rail as too expensive when he promised in January to spend a whopping $1.8 billion on a new East-West link motorway, a project that hadn’t been fully assessed, and which has a very low benefit cost ratio.

“The Green Party remains committed to seeing rail connect Auckland airport with the city. We would like to see it completed by 2025.

“We are also committed to getting rail across the harbour to the North Shore by 2030," said Ms Genter.

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