The announcement that Auckland’s Northern Busway will be upgraded to rail is a huge win for the Greens’ campaign to get rail to the Shore, but Aucklanders shouldn’t have to wait 30 years for it to happen, the Green Party said today.
National’s Auckland transport strategy says a second harbour crossing won’t happen for another 20 to 30 years, but a recent Auckland Transport (AT) study released under the OIA shows parts of the Northern Busway will face overcrowding and congestion within 10 years.
“It’s great the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has finally acknowledged what we and many others have been saying for a long time – rail is the obvious solution for fixing the traffic madness on the North Shore,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
“Simon Bridges needs to face up to the evidence that Aucklanders need this rail line in the next 10 years, not another 20 or 30.
“The AT report shows that in less than 10 years, buses will face delays and overcrowding at Albany, Sunnynook and Akoranga stations.
“People taking the bus are already confronted with delays and congestion in the central city, where many buses are competing for road space. Rail would be able to by-pass this bedlam.
“Delaying the rail crossing for another 20 to 30 years, as National is proposing, means waiting until the busway is near crisis point before doing anything.
“The Greens in Government would prioritise urgent rail projects, including to the North Shore, and delay spending on National’s low-value, expensive motorways like the East West link and Holiday Highway.
“Aucklanders don’t want to spend their lives sitting in traffic. A rail line would allow people on the North Shore to by-pass motorway traffic and escape traffic congestion,” Ms Genter said.