Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
The National Government is looking increasingly isolated with its opposition to Auckland’s City Rail Link, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Gerry Brownlee showed in the House today he has no alternative plan to ease traffic congestion in …Phil Twyford
29 November 2012
City rail link a no-brainer, unless you’re Gerry Brownlee
The National Government is looking increasingly isolated with its opposition to Auckland’s City Rail Link, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford.
“Gerry Brownlee showed in the House today he has no alternative plan to ease traffic congestion in Auckland’s city centre. Nor has he got his head around the economic damage that will be done by traffic slowing to walking pace in the central city.
“If he thinks 100 per cent of Aucklanders are behind the Government’s spending on roading networks and public transport, then he’s dreaming.
“Sixty four per cent of Aucklanders want the City Rail Link. The Auckland Council wants it, including the centre-right grouping. Even the Employers and Manufacturers Association support it. And a Labour-led government will build it if elected in 2014.
“Mr Brownlee and Steven Joyce have dug themselves into a very deep hole by taking such a belligerent attitude towards the City Rail Link. It would be better if they began digging the Rail Link’s tunnel.
“Now with the leaked draft of the Central City Future Access Study showing traffic will slow to walking pace by 2021 without the City Rail Link, it is clear that only rail can unlock the network constraints of Auckland’s public transport system.
“National’s double standard on this is breath taking. They rule out funding options – central government funding, a regional fuel tax or congestion charging – for the City Rail Link, but are going hell for leather pursuing public-private partnerships, borrowing, and bumping up road user charges and petrol tax to fund their gold-plated motorway projects.
“It is time for Gerry Brownlee to start manoeuvring himself out of National’s dead end position on the City Rail Link. Given that his predecessor, Steven Joyce, requested the Central City Future Access Study, and his own officials have been working on it alongside those from Auckland Council, I hope the Minister will stand by the final recommendations of the report,” Phil Twyford said.