Auckland transport option suppressed

A newly-revealed un-redacted report into options for Auckland freight movement shows the Government has been actively trying to suppress more efficient and cost-effective options to construct a third rail line, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.

“While Auckland’s congestion gets worse by the day, the Government has been caught out trying to cover up the very strong case for investment in a third main rail line on the Southern line.

“The full business case, finally released by KiwiRail under sustained pressure from Harriet Gale of Greater Auckland, shows that of all of the options for greater freight efficiency, investing in a Third Main rail line has significantly greater benefits.

“The Third Main would allow freight trains to have a dedicated track separating them from passenger services on the most congested part of the Auckland rail corridor.

“For around $65 million Aucklanders would enjoy more reliable passenger services, there would be extra capacity for more passenger services and KiwiRail could run more freight services – reducing the amount of heavy trucks on Auckland roads.

“With so much crucial information omitted, under obvious pressure from the Government, that you’ve got to ask just whose side the Government is on.

“National dogmatically pursues its ideological obsession with big roading projects, simply ignoring evidence from its own department that Auckland needs serious investment in high quality rail transport to get people and freight moving in Auckland.

“Labour has a fresh approach. We believe that we need a decisive shift in transport policy in Auckland and our other growing cities to move people and freight, improve productivity, and create liveable cities.

“We will be announcing our specific policy soon, which will include a clear vision for a congestion free city, and evidence based investments to make it happen. This will include our position on the Third Main line and other key transport issues,” says Michael Wood.