Friday, 16th September, 2016
While Auckland Council and central Government agreement on an “aligned” 30 year strategy represents a step forward, clearly missing is any heightened sense of urgency or accelerated action or ambition to move delivery of Auckland’s transport solutions into the fast lane.
Commenting on the 30-year Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) announced yesterday, Auckland Chamber head Michael Barnett said it was made very clear that the pace of change Council and Government are offering is still contingent of existing planning processes. This means:
- No visible congestion relief for at least another 10 years
- No likelihood of a new supporting funding arrangement in quick time – instead a $4b funding gap for the first decade projects is identified and no suggestions on how to address it.
- Still no realistic funding pathway for Auckland transport, and instead a process will be established to target 10 years to provide a solution.
- Projects described in the strategy as deserving priority – e.g. Penlink on the North Shore, Grafton Gully and access to eastern suburbs won’t see action until at least the late 2020s.
“I cannot believe that Aucklanders will accept this slow pace of change. Now that Auckland and Wellington have an agreed single transport strategy – and that’s progress – we need to set up an aligned delivery agency with an ambition and mindset for speed and urgency,” said Mr Barnett.
The Auckland Chamber will work with the Auckland Business Forum on how the pace of delivery of Auckland’s critical transport projects can be accelerated.
“At the end of the day the success of the aligned Auckland-Wellington transport strategy will be judged by the pace at which it is transferred to projects on the ground.”