Wednesday, 21st September, 2016
Laying down the challenge, head of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Michael Barnett, said that of all the projects listed in the just-released Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), Penlink was alone in meeting conditions for action set by the Government and Auckland Council.
Mayoral candidates should note:
- It is ready to go. It has consent and business case showing a benefit cost ratio (BCR) of 2.9, giving it a rating higher than a number of NZTAs ‘Roads of National Significance’ projects.
- The estimated cost is a modest $290 million, compared to the billions of dollars of other larger projects, Travel time savings of up to 15 minutes.
- Funding options include combining a toll of around $2-3 a trip for users and a targeted transport rate for non-users in nearby suburbs that will benefit from less congestion in getting access to State Highway 1 – Millwater, Wainui and Silverdale West.
- Private sector investors have approached the Chamber stating interest in undertaking Penlink as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) where they finance, build and operate the road while AT pay for it to be open. A conversation is also underway with NZTA to undertake the works linking Penlink to SH1 south of Silverdale.
While the ATAP presentation identified Penlink as a priority it was ranked for construction in the decade starting 2028. “That’s completely unacceptable,” said Mr Barnett.
“Daily congestion currently stretches around 5 kilometres most working days. Population growth is among the fastest in Auckland, and recently the Housing Accord has flagged a Wainui development of up to 18,000 new residents in the next few years.
“Over the next 10 years one thing is certain – without Penlink completed congestion will get worse, much worse.”
“I note that Transport Minister Simon Bridges has said that some projects could be brought forward. Penlink must be one of them and with no more delay, no more excuses, said Mr Barnett.