Posted on June 28, 2016
It’s nuts that we don’t have a modern, fast way of getting to the airport and it’s taken too long to resolve.
This is an going part of our transport planning problem where we don’t involve users and stakeholders (the public, politicians and others) and partners (NZTA, Kiwirail, the private sector and other potential funders) effectively enough in developing and agreeing these priorities. My transport policy is designed to address this.
But in terms of Auckland Transport (and NZTA’s) decision on rail to the airport, heavy rail is $1 billion more expensive than the alternative and that’s hard to justify to ratepayers.
Auckland already needs to spend an extra $400 million per year to fix our transport backlog, and we can’t do that by gold-plating.
The Northern busway has been a big success and a version of this should have been part of the airport investigations much earlier. The existing SkyBus service to the airport works well and that’s using the existing shared roads and bus lanes.
If a modern bus solution is the most cost-effective option now, we can still future proof for rail – as has been done with the Northern busway.
But my priority is to get on with it and build a solution that delivers better transport sooner.