2 billion motorway more muddled thinking on transport

The Green Party has criticised the Government’s move to construct a new Auckland motorway to Waterview via a private-public partnership (PPP).

“It’s a pity that a week after the North Shore Busway came on stream, which gets Aucklanders out of their cars, the Government wants to waste $2 billion on a new motorway that will only encourage them to hop back in,” the Green Party’s Spokesperson on Auckland public transport issues Keith Locke says.

“All the PPP will do is delay payment for the project – it won’t be any cheaper in the long run.

“The clear priority for Auckland is public transport infrastructure, not a $2 billion motorway.

“Instead of bowing to the motorway lobby, the Government should be thinking about how to get the money to complete Auckland’s rail network.

“A couple of billion dollars could pay for a rail line to the airport, turning the Britomart line into a loop – with an underground extension to Mt Eden – and connecting Onehunga with the western line at Avondale.

“Transport emissions are Auckland’s greatest contribution to global warming, which is another reason to put public transport before new motorway infrastructure.

“Jeanette Fitzsimons’ Climate Change (Transport Funding) Bill, currently before Parliament, would restrain public expenditure on new motorway projects. It will put a ring fence around road spending to ensure that public transport receives adequate funding.

“The Green Party will continue to support community opposition to the Waterview project, which won’t be weakened by undergrounding part of the motorway.

“There will be public anger that tolling for the highway is being resurrected after it was resoundingly rejected during community consultation a couple of years ago.”