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Labour wants light rail for Auckland!

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, October 30th, 2016 - 58 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour, public transport, transport - Tags:

light-rail-dominion-road-visualisation

Press release from the Labour Party

Labour will accelerate development of a light rail system for the Auckland isthmus to tackle the city’s worsening congestion problems, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.

“Right now, gridlock is choking Auckland’s ability to grow. Auckland is crying out for innovative infrastructure projects to get the city moving, but the Government is out of touch and ignoring the problem. Labour will deliver, starting with a modern light rail line.

“Drivers are now taking 10 minutes longer to get to work in the last three years alone, and it’s getting worse.

“Auckland Council wanted to build light rail from Mt Roskill to the CBD within ten years, but National has refused to commit funding.

“Labour will prioritise delivering a light rail line from the Wynyard Quarter through to Britomart along Queen Street to Dominion Road and ending near the Stoddard – Sandringham road intersection.

“This project will cut travel times, reduce congestion and pollution, improve health, and boost productivity. 29,000 people’s homes and 48,000 jobs are located within 500m of the planned stops, with major growth likely in the coming decade. This is vital infrastructure as Auckland grows.

“We see this being a joint project between the Crown and Auckland City Council, costing about $680 million each. The project has an estimated benefit to cost ratio of up to 1.9 – a gain of ninety cents for every dollar invested.

“That’s a sound investment that will make a huge difference to Auckland’s future. With Labour, we will get Auckland moving,” says Andrew Little.

58 comments on “Labour wants light rail for Auckland! ”

  1. lprent 1

    Wandered along to see this. I see that so did mickey. And so did a pile of other people.

    Kind of interesting place to do it. Dominion road in my father’s youth was a major light rail route.

    Needless to say coming down Dominion road on a Sunday, Google maps showed the whole roadway was red – highly congested.

  2. Sacha 2

    Great policy. Now let’s see what lines the righties use against it.

  3. Ad 3

    Good on Little, but….

    Little and Twyford will need balls of steel to survive the wrath of the Dominion Road shopkeepers who will lose all on-street parking. These same shopkeepers have successfully resisted all previous attempts in the last thirty years to modernize their streetscapes or seriously improve public transport in the area.

    • Sacha 3.1

      The Council need to introduce them all to the cbd shared space retailers whose trade is up 400% since losing carparking right outside their doors.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      One of the reasons I don’t go shopping on Main Street is because of all the parked cars that are in my way. The moving cars are even worse.

    • lprent 3.3

      Over the last 45 years (I grew up in Mt Albert, went to Balmoral Intermediate) I’ve watched Dominion Road massively deteriorate as a shopping area. The main reason why is because it is THE major transit route in that area because it is direct to the Mt Roskill residential areas. Mt Eden Road curves all over the place. Sandringham goes kilometres wide.

      The more cars there are on Dominion Road, the worse it becomes as a place to shop.

      The shopkeepers are nuts if they think that parking helps them. All it does is slow the traffic down. Watching trams in a few cities in europe recently what I noticed was how often people got off them to shop.

      • adam 3.3.1

        I remember coming to Auckland as a kid, and the Shops on Dominion Road were the just amazing. We’d spend the day walking down one side, and back up the other.

        Now days it’s just a noisy and thoroughly unpleasant experience walking down Dominion Road.

        • dukeofurl 3.3.1.1

          Shopping Malls and other trends in shopping have sucked the life and retailers of almost Auckland street shopping centres
          Panmure, Dominion Rd, Otahuhu.
          One the main reasons that I can see is that modern shops need bigger space and the old style buildings are too small.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.1

            Shopping Malls and other trends in shopping have sucked the life and retailers of almost Auckland street shopping centres

            Could that be because they’re a nice, quiet environment with no cars zooming past?

            The next killer of physical stores, including shopping centres, will be the internet. Much nicer, easier and far cheaper not to have to go shopping at all.

      • Incognito 3.3.2

        City dwellers in many European cities (e.g. Amsterdam) have a completely different mind-set about public transport. In contrast, here in NZ drivers show this weird compulsive behaviour of needing & wanting to park right in front of the door!? You see this at shops and malls but no more clearly when dropping off and picking up children at school; they park anywhere to save an inch, e.g. on the pavement, even on pedestrian crossings (!), in bus bays, in drive ways, double parking, you name it.

        • ropata 3.3.2.1

          We need more cops and traffic wardens, and a change of culture in road design and enforcement, currently bad parking and shit driving gets no attention from TPTB unless someone is killed (or heaven forbid, a road is blocked)

      • Craig H 3.3.3

        Christchurch had a free electric bus service in the CBD pre-earthquake, and it was really good. Waiting for it to return as my workplace is moving back into town in January and it will make driving to work very convenient when I have to.

    • adam 3.4

      Funny how retrograde businesses in Auckland can be. I remember being in Melbourne when there was talk about shutting down a tram line, and the business community went ballistic. Especially those who had more than one shop and knew what trams did for trade.

      I’ve always found the whole – We need car parks a bit daft. They point to what happened in Onehunga Mall as the proof of what could go wrong. When the Mall experiment was not backed up by good public transport, nor truly assessable spaces – it was bound to fall over. But we are many years on from that, and we know what systems work.

      Bring on light rail!

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Labour wants light rail for Auckland!

    What’s more important is that Aucklanders have wanted light rail and preferably a subway for decades. It’s been our political ‘leaders’ that have been holding us back.

    Just think of all the benefits that would have accrued over the last 90 years if it had been built when first mooted in the 1920s.

    • lprent 4.1

      We had light rail until the moron National MPs ripped the tracks out of all of the streets in 1953-6.

      When the fuckwits started ripping them up in 1953, we had about 80 million rides per year on trams. Last year Auckland Transport finally got back up to the same level.

      Basically, if we could get the destructive short-sighted fuckwits from National off our backs for a few decades, we would make Auckland habitable again.

      • dukeofurl 4.1.2

        Most tram routes were replaced by electric trolley buses.
        having the tram down the middle was getting more dangerous for those getting on and off, trolley buses pulled over to the kerb.
        Trams would be best going down the sides of the roads not centre which could be for cars

        • Sacha 4.1.2.1

          Other cities over time have figured out that centre running clashes less with other traffic. We’re not special.

          • Ad 4.1.2.1.1

            Agreed. Melbourne does it fine. Even crazy central Amsterdam can do it.

            • dukeofurl 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Their tram routes have much wider roads near centre, and trams have reserved section of road.
              I lived in Melbourne, most tram routes jostle with traffic like they would in Dominion Rd ( unless its widened, since the 60s its had all new buildings set back on one side)

  5. adam 5

    Support from outside Auckland, great. I hope this is the beginning of a light rail explosion this great city desperately needs. Because as a public transport user, the bus system is failing – the amount of buses that have poor maintenance is getting ridiculous. I have to get off buses on a regular basis and wait for another one, because it’s to painful to ride in. Not only that, the grid lock means you should go buy a lotto ticket if a bus turns up on time. The poor bus drivers having to deal with bad buses, a congested city and disgruntled public.

    That said, can we not lose sight we need rail to the airport, and no not for the airport and international guests. Personally I don’t care to much for them. It’s just another example of South Auckland being the last on the list. The whole south west corridor, needs trains.

    Trains are expensive, sure, but on going maintenance happens, unlike buses. And with trains in place, light rail is a simple next step.

    I’m looking forward to light rail on Dominion road, it will make it a great place to go once again.

  6. Sacha 6

    And now the Nat MP candidate is pretending the role has influence over AT’s work: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85883576/Labour-promises-to-fast-track-light-rail-in-first-salvo-of-Mt-Roskill-by-election-in-Auckland

    She said she was “hugely focused on tackling transport issues, including filling the gaps in the bus routes, getting better quality bus shelters built, changing the absurd T3 lanes, and making popular footpaths safer for pedestrians.”

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Sounds like Joyce is running the campaign again.
      Did you find any ‘new bridges’ in the promises?

    • Keith 6.2

      Is that the best Nationals candidate can come up with? God that is so cringe worthy.

      “Filling the gaps in the bus routes” and “getting better quality bus shelters”. What the hell is that going to achieve??

      And “changing the absurd T3 lanes”. One can only assume this will be to allow single occupant cars to use them so that whatever pathetic bus based services do use the streets will become frozen in the gridlock as well. Yes, not only have we been there before but some areas are still like that. What a fucking moron but she does sum up Nationals thinking!

      I await the announcement of paying SERCO hundreds of millions to take over public transport. They probably don’t know Jack about public transport and it won’t improve a damned thing but them again they knew nothing about running prisons either but that didn’t stop them!

    • The New Student 6.3

      Hopefully crossings for pedestrians too. I don’t need the stress of wondering whether the turning traffic is going to give way to me

  7. Keith 7

    Auckland is absolutely screaming out for something other than motorways, motorways and more motorways that is a black hole of spending.

    With the current revamping of the North Western motorway there was fairly much a one off opportunity to economically put in a rail link to Te Atatu and even Lincoln Rd to give the people out in the North and east area’s of West Auckland a viable, real alternative to cars. They/we got nothing. I believe Gerry Brownlee even stopped a decent busway being built and so the whole massive spend up has ended up with buses being able to use the break down strip, at times, and otherwise it’s carmageddon as per normal. Fucking hopeless!

    I realise that there is no money changing hands between well connected people and a certain political party to build more motorways if far more emphasis is put on decent public transport but if Auckland is not going to end up an even worse crawling mass of cars and trucks then something other than roads has to be done to provide that alternative.

    National are truly beyond any hope however I assume a hastily announced pseudo policy based on polling will be whipped out by them appearing to ape Labours policy but you know whatever they come up with won’t happen and it will have no intention of changing anything.

    As with so many other issues in this country it’s definitely time for a change of government to deal with Auckland’s terrible traffic problems.

    • Red Hand 7.1

      In the meantime try this. Get up 4-30 am, take an hour to wash, dress and have breakfast. Leave home about 5-30 and walk for an hour to where you have parked over night in a quiet no exit suburban street, drive to work just on rush hour, get to work first and enjoy the calm. Same routine home, but vary it, park the car at work, get the train, walk from train to home.

  8. Ad 8

    I went to a public meeting in Auckland held by Winston Peters today.

    He was asked by TV3 for comment on the Labour light rail announcement.
    He replied for the crowd:
    “Really? There’s a by-election in Mt Roskill?”
    Everyone laughed of course.

    He said: “Last time I did a by-election it was in Northland, and those wannabe MP’s and Ministers and the Prime Minister were up there like flies. Running around making promises about five more bridges, and broadband faster than Dunedin, and a motorway all the way to Wellsford. Remember all those bridges?”

    We all did.

    “In fact the Taipa Bridge was built 130 years ago.”

    “And eighteen months later, how many of those promises have we seen? Zero.

    NZTA have just had their first little chat about one bridge last week.”

    “So, I haven’t seen any engineering drawings, or costings, or anything that resembles a real plan. And no, I don’t have any comment to make.”

    He is pretty damn good in person I must say.

  9. Nick 9

    Great announcement. Fix the mess.

  10. Sacha 10

    Herald carries the full Nat response, naturally: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11738723

    Joyce said the promise was “taking pork barrel politics to a whole new level”.
    “Labour are hitting the panic button fairly early on,” Mr Joyce says. “Promising a $1.4 billion rail link between the electorate and the city looks very desperate.

    Some free comms advice for Labour: always describe the route as from city out to Mt Roskill and beyond, including airport if you like.

  11. greg 11

    the light rail proposal has come out Auckland transport its more to do with the fact they cant get anymore buses up symonds street there is no means of moving people from the tree kings dominion rd areas. its grid lock 24/7 well national have had 3 terms to fix the problem and they haven’t we need young progressive like Mikael woods in parliament and in government

  12. save nz 12

    Good idea but pity the average Kiwi on local wages can’t afford to live in any of those areas anymore. The average price for 3 bed in Mt Roskill 6 months ago was $974,440.
    https://www.barfoot.co.nz/market-reports/2016/january/suburb-report

    How about light rail every 20 mins from Hamilton to Auckland and Helensville to Auckland and Wellsford to Auckand with park and ride facilities. The rail is there already I think, but used for freight.

    Mt Roskill route is not too bad for public transport for Auckland (still bad) – from further out it is dire.

    • Sacha 12.1

      That would be heavy rail. Northland’s is very run-down. And all business cases do not yet stack up without ongoing subsidies. #changethegovt

    • Stuart Munro 12.2

      If the Gnats were not so dedicated to dragging NZ backwards into the 19th century there’d be high speed rail from Wellington to Auckland. It’d save a lot of aviation fuel.

  13. Tory 13

    It’s an election bribe, no different from Bridges bridges in Northland. Tax and spend, tax and spend………,,,,,,,,

  14. NZJester 14

    The Nats laughed at Labour for wanting to put the Britomart Transport Centre into Auckland and called it a White Elephant when it was completed. They stopped the plans of expanding it further for so many years. But look at it now and how the planed expansions they stopped where really needed to be installed years ago as it is brimming at the seems these days and the road traffic it could have eased with the expansions is now at critical level.
    The National government is always short site, while Labour Governments are forward thinking.
    National keeps wanting to sink money into roads, when there just is not the space to put new roads in. You need ways to get cars off the roads, not keep them on it!
    This is another case of National laughing at a forward thinking idea.

  15. Doogs 15

    Just heard Key on Morning Report piss-arsing around and sounding like a dick on the Auckland light rail issue. He, like his chief acolyte Hosking, is an expert at spouting turds with a nice gloss on them. He tried to sound reasonable and thoughtful and “oh we’re already doing that”, instead he comes up with tired and outdated rhetoric.

    Auckland needs a do-it-now approach to its problems, and good on Andrew for fronting in that regard.

  16. pat 16

    it would appear to be a communication and planning cock up…..Goff saying good idea but council has no need to pay…..you would expect Little and Goff made sure they were on the same page before announcing…too much to expect??

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201821861/labour-can't-rely-on-auckland-council-to-pay-half-of-light-rail

  17. jcuknz 17

    Kieth…. Bus shelters are very important to keep one dry while waiting for a non-existent bus to arrive.

    But what Key misses is that they have misappropriated millions, no billions, on roading when today is the cheapest time to start building light rail ….it was even cheaper when Robbie was mayor.

  18. Sacha 18

    PM ignores all the transport experts and claims buses are an option for Dominion Rd: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201821868/pm-discusses-labour's-light-rail-plans

    Govt’s transport agencies have already agreed on trams.

  19. Muttonbird 19

    This morning Key brought up the Australian experience of ‘blow-outs’ in light rail costs as an example of why to not do this. I could have told you he would use this line because it was fed to him by his pollster and adviser, David Farrar yesterday.

    • dukeofurl 19.1

      It was the other way round, they likely knew about the labour announcement and the PMs office had talking points for kiwiblog and whaleloil last week

    • jcuknz 19.2

      The anti rail folk happilly ignore the fact that buses last ten years [perhaps] while rail lasts half a century … so the set-up cost while much bigger needs to be stretched over a far longer period …. plus buses are subsidised by other road vehicles.

  20. Doogs 20

    An old proverb – “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”

    For ‘plant a tree’ read ‘build light rail’.

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