Auckland Council yesterday decided to drop a presser on the Northern Airport Line (City Centre to Dominion Road). This is what it said.
From Our Auckland:
Published: 9 April 2018
This comes on the back of comments made by the Minister of Transport, Phil Twyford, that he expects work on the project to begin within the next two years.
Light rail is a significant project for Auckland; it will carry huge numbers of passengers across Auckland’s isthmus and ease congestion in the city. Auckland Council continues to work with the government on progressing the project and has today (Monday 9 April) released three documents on Light Rail Transit plans in Auckland.
One of the documents details a potential accelerated delivery strategy to have light rail from the airport to the city in time for the America’s Cup and APEC summit in 2021.
Dated 1 October 2017, the Airport to City Light Rail Transit Acceleration Strategy identified a number of challenges the project would face in order to be operational by late 2020.
Also available is a briefing document prepared by Auckland Transport and NZTA detailing work done to date on light rail for Auckland, as well as maps of Dominion Road light rail plans.
At present work on the delivery of light rail in Auckland is being undertaken by Auckland Council and NZTA, and the consideration of possible light rail links from the Airport to the City is the subject of an ongoing business case process that will feed into the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP).
ATAP sets out joint government and council transport priorities for Auckland and is expected to be released soon.
Read Auckland Council and Auckland Transport’s current position on light rail at the Auckland Transport website.
Source: Our Auckland
The comments made by Twyford were reported here on April 1 (no not an April Fools joke): Regional Rapid Rail and The Southern Airport Line a (virtual) GO!
It should be noted that it would be the City Centre to Dominion Road section of the Northern Airport Line operational by 2021. Dominion Road to the Airport would not be ready for at least another three to five years depending on how it will cross the Manukau Harbour. I have said earlier they are getting the Northern Airport Line all wrong and should start at the Airport end first and link up to Onehunga Station to make existing use of the Onehunga Line (see: We are doing the Airport Lines All Wrong. Start from the Airport not from the City Centres)
None-the-less speeding up at least Stage One of the Northern Airport Line is damn risky and could throw the project majorly out if things like design and procurement are rushed. Auckland Transport has not made the best out of the situation with the Northern Airport Line and the accompanying documents suggest that (see bottom of the post). Priority should be given if we need an express transit link to the Airport on the Southern Airport Line which the Airport to Puhinui stretch can be done by 2020, to Manukau by 2021 then Botany 2023. The route is less risky and has less existing land use issues to contend with compared to the Northern Airport Line.
Might be time for Central Government to take the reins with both Lines to allow delivery – properly
The Northern Airport Line documents