Rail Auckland's only option - report
Fri, 23 Nov 2012 7:01a.m.
By 3 News online staff
Traffic in central Auckland will slow by 75 percent in the next few decades if a central city rail tunnel isn't built, according to an engineering report.
Prepared by Sinclair Knight Merz, the report says by 2021 buses will be overloaded, the average speed in the city centre for cars will be halved to 8km/h, and rail network will be at capacity, reports the New Zealand Herald.
By 2041, the bus network will be "significantly over capacity" and cars will be restricted to travelling at walking speed.
It will take between 30 and 50 percent longer to commute to the central city from West and South Auckland, and 15,200 people every day will be unable to even get into the CBD because of the traffic.
Without a rail link, the report says buses will need to have two lanes going each way, and even then, it would be pushing the limits of what the network could carry.
Mayor Len Brown, who backs the proposed rail link, is yet to see the report, which also states it would be the most cost-effective plan in the long run.
It would provide a return of 78c for every dollar spent, far ahead of a bus tunnel – 28c to 36c – and a surface bus option – 34 to 50c.
Both bus options however would run into capacity problems years before a rail tunnel would, according to the report.
The Greens welcomed the report, saying it showed the Government's current policies are a "recipe for gridlock".
“The National Government is spending billions on highways that have low traffic volumes while neglecting to invest in Auckland," says transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
"Projects like the billion-dollar Transmission Gully, the half billion-dollar Kapiti Expressway, and the $1.7 billion 'holiday highway' are incredibly uneconomic and will only induce more traffic heading into our cities’ CBDs, adding to congestion once they get there."
She says the Greens want the rail link built, as it will benefit not just people using public transport, but everyone in Auckland.
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24/11/2012 7:05:18 p.m.
John C wrote:
Major cities in the first world have a metro rail system. Auckland's geography is not suited to an above-ground rail system.
We need a London-style tube network covering the entire region. It would be very expensive, but we should start with a tube from Britomart (which should have been the five story complex originally planned) to the airport.
23/11/2012 8:18:31 p.m.
The answer for the last thirty years has been rail. The problem is that the city keeps been run by bureaucrats that are too stingy to put rate payers money into a substantial investment that will pay off in the long term.
23/11/2012 12:28:34 p.m.
Millions of dollars DB. I have no problem with rail but make the people who use it pay for it. I dont want to pay for someone else to go to work every day.Pay the price or sit in traffic for 4 hours a day.Your choice and my choice.
23/11/2012 11:02:51 a.m.
Now I'm being serious here, I'm not a master genius or have any great experience in town planning etc etc, but really??? I am sick to death of these waste of time reports, studies, investigations which cost thousands and a whole heap of time when its just COMMON SENSE. Of course the answer is rail - who are these guys?! Pay me half what you paid those guys and I can write it up professionally on a one page document if you want.
23/11/2012 7:14:11 a.m.
Anyone thinking we cant afford it, look at it the other way we cant NOT have these plans put in to action. Think of the soaring prices of diesel and petrol, and all the extra time spent idleing in traffic on the motorway
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