National still holding back rail

National has put key rail projects in Auckland on the backburner, choosing to delay light rail to the airport for a decade and a possible rail line to the North Shore for another two, the Green Party said today.

The Government and Auckland Council this afternoon laid out a decade by decade plan outlining the major transport projects it wants to progress over the next 30 years.

"With rapid population growth and the urgent need to cut climate pollution, now is the best opportunity to accelerate investment into a rapid rail network for Auckland," said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

"But this plan puts off the inevitable. If you live on the North Shore or Mangere you're looking at decades before you get a quality rail connection.

"National is telling a huge number of Aucklanders that they will be stuck in traffic, with few quality public transport options for another 10 to 20 years.

"The sooner we build these rail line, the sooner Aucklanders can benefit from them, whether they take the train or use the roads.

“Simon Bridges has refused to back away from his low-value, billion-dollar motorway and that’s come at the cost of light rail to the airport and the North Shore rail link.

“For the cost of just one of National's pet motorway projects we could have had light rail to Mount Roskill, major expansion of  Auckland’s cycle network and of the double-decker bus fleet.

“National has ignored the fact that Aucklanders overwhelmingly support a rail line to the North, and light rail to the airport.

“The extension of electric rail to Pukekohe is good news, but it’s hard to see why the government hasn't prioritised better public transport in high growth areas in Central and South Auckland," said Ms Genter.

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