Key announces plans for Government to support Council starting CRL in 2018
The Prime Minister has just finished giving his speech to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce lunch where he gave his views on the State of the Nation.
The big three announcements that came from the speech were:
- To finalise the business plan with Council to allow the starting on the main City Rail Link tunnelling in 2018 rather than 2020
- Fast tracking consents for the East West Link (2018 start)
- Acknowledging housing issue and that supply needs a good boot
From the Office of the Mayor Len Brown
Mayor welcomes government announcement
Mayor Len Brown has warmly welcomed the government’s announcement providing support for the City Rail Link (CRL).
“Since the government announced its support for the City Rail Link (CRL) back in 2012, I have been asking the government to provide certainty over the funding. That is what we needed and that is what the government has delivered today.
“To reach our vision of Auckland being the world’s most liveable city, we need this to happen. Aucklanders have been waiting for the CRL for decades and it’s been my number one priority since my first Auckland Council mayoral campaign.”
“I have long championed the City Rail Link project because it will be transformational, not only to keep Auckland moving but also to boost the city’s economic and social life. Its benefits will be felt across Auckland as well as building a great heart in the central city. Today’s guarantee of completion of the link in 2022 is excellent news.”
Len Brown says government support for Auckland infrastructure projects will help Auckland cope with its growth as the engine room on the New Zealand economy. Auckland’s population is growing at three per cent a year or more than 800 new people a week and, over the past two years, Auckland’s economy has been growing at an extra $3 billion a year.
“Today is a major milestone but this is just the beginning. I promised Aucklanders I’d keep Auckland moving and we have a clear vision for to ensure that happens.”
The Mayor paid tribute to the ministers involved in today’s announcement including John Key, Finance Minister Bill English and Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
“We have a very positive working relationship with the government and a joint commitment to solving Auckland issues. Together, we are making good progress with a transport accord to help address issues of connectivity and synergy.”
The Auckland Transport Alignment Project, as the accord is known, was signed last August enabling a process in which Auckland and the government will agree objectives and targets for transport in Auckland.
“This is the next step in our collaboration with the government to seriously address traffic congestion and make our public transport system a more desirable option for getting around our city.”
Work on the CRL began just before Christmas in Albert Street where infrastructure is being moved to make way for the new rail tunnel.
Auckland Transport figures show that last year, rail patronage increased 22.9% or 2.9 million trips to total 15.4 million trips. At current growth rates, the patronage target of 20 million trips per year, set by the government for funding of the CRL will be achieved at the end of this year, three years ahead of schedule.
In which I would personally like to offer my thanks to Mayor Len Brown for his tireless work since the Super City was formed in 2010 to get the City Rail Link now firmly on the books with a 2018 start date. Thank you Len!
The East West Link will go before a full Board of Inquiry with the construction start date set also for 2018. However, the certainty of the East West Link gaining a consent is not secure given the issue with the Wellington Basin Flyover which NZTA lost that battle in the High Court on failing to take into account proper consequence studies of the surrounding areas of that now defunct Flyover.
As for housing:
It his a thinly veld warning that opposition to the Unitary Plan will come at your peril. That is once the recommendations for the Plan are back from the Panel the Council adopts those recommendations en-mass. Of course there are going to be appeals but they can work themselves through the system.
So the City Rail Link: set for operation by 2022!