Auckland faces gridlock - Len Brown
Auckland Mayor Len Brown
Auckland CBD will be gridlocked in 10 years if the Government doesn't put money into the council's proposed $2.5 billion rail network, mayor Len Brown says.
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee isn't convinced the city needs it, and he's questioning the conclusions in a report presented on Thursday.
The City Centre Future Access Study (CCFAS) says the city rail link, which would run underground from Britomart to Mt Eden, is essential.
"This valiant attempt to make the city rail link stack up struggles to make the case," Mr Brownlee said.
He doubts the CCFAS forecast that city centre employment will grow by 46 per cent in the next 10 years and says the report doesn't take account of the Western Ring Route road network which will be completed in 2017.
Mr Brown says Mr Brownlee asked for the report and Treasury, the Ministry of Transport, NZ Transport and Auckland Transport put it together.
"This is an all-agency report, it says the city rail link is the answer and it's three or four times better than any of the alternatives," he said on Friday.
"It's quite clear that in 10 years, if we don't get into the work now, we will be looking at gridlock in the CBD."
The council can't build the rail link without government help, although exactly how much it wants hasn't been decided.
Mr Brown says he knows ministers are struggling with the recession and the Christchurch rebuild but the rail link is critical for the city.
"At some point we have to conclude this, set a time frame, decide how we fund it and when we build it."