Building and shaping a city: Future-proofing Auckland transport infrastructure
The Government is bringing Auckland’s transport infrastructure into the future by moving forward with an additional Waitematā Harbour crossing, progressing light rail from Auckland’s CBD to the airport, and creating a linked-up rapid transport network as part of a 30-year plan.
“Where previous governments and councils have failed to plan for the long term, we are committed to preparing for and safeguarding our country’s economic future today,” Grant Robertson said.
“Auckland’s population is projected to rise to two million by early next decade. In order to move two million people around our largest city safely and efficiently, we need well-planned and connected infrastructure.
“We are not going to repeat the mistakes of ad hoc planning and a scramble to build infrastructure when it is too late – this rapid transit system is about making sure Auckland is able to flourish as it grows.
“We have deliberately chosen this option for Auckland Light Rail that will integrate with other major infrastructure projects across Auckland, like the additional Waitematā Harbour crossing, the Auckland Rapid Transit Plan and Kāinga Ora Large Scale Projects,” Grant Robertson said.
“Our largest city needs a linked-up rapid transit transport network that will serve Aucklanders into the future, making it faster to move through the city, connecting communities, providing greater access to businesses, all while reducing congestion,” Michael Wood said.
“The Government is taking the next step regarding Auckland light rail from the CBD to the Airport, and is proceeding with the option recommended by the Auckland Light Rail Establishment Unit, which will see Light Rail in a tunnel from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill, which comes to the surface and runs alongside the SH20 motorway to the airport.
“Alongside the City Rail Link, the underground network will bring Aucklanders transport infrastructure into the 21st century, allowing faster trips and reduced emissions. City Rail Link is the heart of Auckland’s transport network, and Light Rail will now form the spine of what will be a fully integrated rapid transport network that will lead us into the future.
“The Government is also committed to an additional Waitematā Harbour crossing, and has brought forward planning for the crossing to ensure a fully integrated transport network for Auckland. Public consultation on options for the additional Waitematā Harbour crossing will begin this year, with a preferred option selected in 2023.
“To kick the can down the road could either preclude a second crossing from being a possibility in the future, or require what will be established transport infrastructure to be reconstructed meaning additional costs.
“The Northern Busway is growing by 20 percent a year and will run out of capacity in 10-15 years, so new transport options for the future are needed, and the planning must begin now. This decision alongside the City Rail Link means that we can now ensure rapid transit to the North as well as the South, East and West.
“Addressing future disruption is front of mind for the Government, and designing a support package alongside business will be a major part of this engagement in 2022. We are making a commitment to businesses in the area that significant disruption will be addressed through a comprehensive package, including direct financial support.
“Delivering a high-quality, world-class transport network to New Zealand’s largest city is a key priority of this Government. We are already unlocking the city through transport projects such as the Eastern Busway and the City Rail Link, both of which make moving around Auckland faster, easier, and more sustainable. Aucklanders have clearly relayed that they recognise the need for this investment, they want us to get on with it, and we are,” Michael Wood said.
Features of the chosen light rail option are: