Government’s commitment to fast-track City Rail Link great for Auckland

By | Auckland Central, Local Projects, Transport | No Comments

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says the Government’s decision to work with Auckland Council to bring forward the start date of the City Rail Link (CRL) is great news for Auckland.

“I’d like to acknowledge the Prime Minister and Ministers Joyce and Bridges for the decision announced today by the Prime Minister, which means construction could start in 2018, at least two years sooner than currently envisaged,” says Ms Kaye.

“This is great news for commuters, and it also provides a huge boost for potential new jobs and growth in Auckland.

“The CRL is a vital artery in Auckland’s rail network. The new, 3.4km underground link will double the capacity of the network, and significantly reduce commuter times.

“The construction project itself will create lots of jobs in the city, and it will also unlock other growth and development, by giving certainty to building work planned in Auckland. There’s billions of dollars of proposed investment in new buildings in Auckland’s CBD over the next few years.

“While this project is about better rail connections, with Auckland growing by a predicted 700,000 people over the next 30 years, we need to ensure that our public transport system, whether it be rail, buses, ferries, walkways or cycleways, are able to accommodate that growth.

“I have supported the CRL since 2009, and as the local MP over several years I have worked alongside constituents, the Council, other agencies and the Government to commit to the project, and undertake both designation and other preparatory work.

“Auckland Central is home to much infrastructure of national significance. Under our Government, we have delivered the $340 million Victoria Park Tunnel project, committed to an investment package of $88 million in cycling in Auckland, and completed the $1.7 billion electrification of rail. The CRL is estimated to cost around $2.5 billion and I look forward to working with other Ministers as local MP on issues such as funding and ownership.

“The scale and complexity of the construction project will require a level of organisation like never before. It’s important for all agencies and stakeholders to understand the sequencing of work and potential disruption to the CBD, and as the local MP I will be doing all I can to ensure the project is a success.

“Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister is important because it’s about creating jobs and giving certainty to Auckland business. This is great news for the future of Auckland.”

Good news for Waiheke Super Gold Card users

By | Auckland Central, Transport, Waiheke | No Comments

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says the outcome of the government’s review of the SuperGold Card scheme, announced by Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss, is good news for cardholders who use Waiheke Island ferry services.

“The review has confirmed that entitlement for Waiheke Island ferry services should continue, with increased funding to account for inflation,” says Ms Kaye.

“It was also announced that the moratorium on new services entering the scheme will be lifted from 1 September, and a tender will be set up for the Waiheke Island (Matiatia Wharf) service.

“I presented a petition to Parliament which asked the Government to give the Explore Group ferry service to Waiheke access to the SuperGold Card subsidy.

“The government has listened and as a result, Explore Group Limited will get a more even playing field.

“I intend to work with local ferry operators, Auckland Transport and the public to confirm the exact process for tendering.

“In the meantime, the key thing is that SuperGold Card holders can be confident they’ll continue to have access to the scheme in a fairer way, now and into the future.

 

Celebrating the electrification of Britomart

By | Auckland Central, Press Releases, Transport | No Comments

Electrification BritomartIt was fantastic to recently help celebrate the electrification of Britomart with the Minister of Transport, Hon Gerry Brownlee, and National MPs Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and Simon O’Connor.

The electrification of Britomart is an important element in supporting a better, more efficient transport system for Auckland, and a milestone for three projects, representing a total of $1.7 billion investment in the rail network including:

  • The upgrade of the network to enable 10-minute peak frequencies (Project DART)
  • The Auckland Electrification Project
  • The purchase of 57 new electric trains

It is great to see that Aucklanders made 10.7 million trips by rail across the city in the year to January 2014.  The upgraded and electrified network, along with the new trains, will encourage even more people to take the train instead of driving and help tackle congestion.

The Government is investing around $1 billion a year on roads and public transport to meet the needs of Auckland’s growing population and to improve the transport system’s contribution to economic growth.  The completed Newmarket Viaduct and Victoria Park tunnel are already making a difference.

Other projects include the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) which is a 30-year, $1.5 billion strategy aimed at dealing with traffic congestion, poor traffic options and growth in key areas; the green light for a second harbour link and the City Rail Link business case; design and construction of the Auckland Domain Road Corridor Upgrade; and the planned SH16 Central Auckland connection cycle-way.