Tuesday, 27th September, 2016
“It sends a signal that Auckland needs to accelerate action to deal to our major transport problems and cope with the city’s big population growth projected to continue for the foreseeable future.”
Mr Barnett was responding to comments by the Prime Minister at today’s ceremony in Onehunga marking the start of work to widen State Highway 20 between Neilson Street and Queenstown Road.
The $30 million project was branded by Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges as the first stage of Auckland’s $1.8 billion East-West Link project which is due to file seeking a consent later this year.
Urging Mr Bridges to encourage completion of the Stage 1 project and move forward on the bigger project as soon as possible, Mr Key forecast that Auckland will continue to grow at a fast pace and needed the infrastructure.
Encouraged by Mr Key’s comments, even if they were in jest, Mr Barnett noted that Auckland’s vehicle fleet is increasing by around 900 new cars and trucks every week, Auckland’s economy is growing at more than 3% a year, and the private sector is driving investment and keen to take up more opportunities.
“But we can do better – and today’s Prime Ministerial comments will give confidence to the business community to seek accelerated action to implement Auckland’s priority transport projects unveiled recently by the Auckland Transport Alignment Project,” said Mr Barnett.