The Government and Auckland Council have released a joint report that sets out a clear direction for the development of Auckland’s transport system over the next 30 years.
“This report marks the culmination of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) which has involved the Government and Auckland Council working closely together over the last year to develop an aligned strategic approach, including an indicative package of transport investment,” said Finance Minister Bill English.
He said over the past 5 years, the Government and Auckland Council’s combined annual transport investment in Auckland had increased from $500 million to $2.1 billion.
“This has allowed us to keep pace with the challenges which have stemmed from strong population growth. However, Auckland’s population is set to grow by 700,000 people in the next 30 years and our findings show congestion is set to get worse under current plans. It’s essential that we prioritise new and better infrastructure to deliver value for money and address these challenges,” he said.
To address these challenges, ATAP has developed a package of projects to illustrate the type and amount of investment likely to be needed over the next 30 years. The indicative package gives priority for additional funding over the next decade to: new and upgraded roads to unlock land for housing in the northwest, the south and the north; the first phase of the Northwestern Busway from Westgate to Te Atatu; motorway improvements to address congestion and provide for ongoing growth in the northwest, south and southwest; upgraded access to Auckland Airport from the east; and ongoing investment to improve Auckland’s rail network, including more electric trains and extending electrification to Pukekohe.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges said to achieve a step change in the performance of Auckland’s transport system they needed to move towards smarter network pricing alongside significant and ongoing investment to support growth.
“While extra investment is needed to address the most pressing transport challenges facing Auckland, the report makes the case that we can’t build our way out of the problem in the long-run. This is neither affordable nor cost-effective for taxpayers and ratepayers.
“Targeted ongoing investment is just one of three essential parts to develop Auckland’s transport system. Making better use of the existing network and influencing transport demand are equally important,” he said.
“Technology also has the potential to play a critical role in influencing travel demand. Emerging transport technology is fundamentally reshaping the way transport is provided and used. It is important that we make sure Auckland and the rest of New Zealand is well positioned to take full advantage of these opportunities,” Bridges said.
More information, including the final report, is available at www.transport.govt.nz/atap