Posted on May 13, 2016
Auckland Mayoral candidate Mark Thomas said the Automobile Association, NZCID and EMA transport reports that have just been released show Auckland’s current transport plans are failing to keep up.
He is promising to move quickly to reorganise council spending to boost transport funding and reprioritise Auckland Transport’s approach to focus on key local priorities as AA suggests.
He will reorganise Auckland Transport to get it working more effectively by creating six Regional Transport Boards and he will lead a new “Hybrid” mass transit plan involving bus and rail as contemplated in the City Centre Access Study.
Thomas outlined his Better Transport Sooner approach to some of Auckland’s key transport problems in a policy release last month.
“Congestion is getting worse and that will increase. I agree with much of the recommendations but, having been closely involved with the Unitary Plan, am more optimistic than NZCID about the land use rules coming through the Unitary Plan.”
“I believe we can make quicker housing development and transport investment where needed progress in the already identified target growth areas of Onehunga, Manukau, Henderson, Northcote and Takapuna.”
“However although we don’t know what the final decisions on the Unitary Plan will be, on the current draft Plan I agree a rewrite of the residential provisions will likely be needed to ensure better supported development and infrastructure planning.”
Thomas noted NZCID’s proposal to reactive planning for an “eastern corridor” but he said there is no eastern corridor on any current transport plans. He did not support it as a key priority.
Meanwhile the key east Auckland transport project AMETI is languishing through lack of funding priority by Mayor Brown.”
“I think we have more urgent priorities to improve access from the east of Auckland and I will reprioritise the transport budget to start the next phase of the AMETI busway between Pakuranga and Panmure.”
“The Stonefields example in my ward, which NZCID draw attention to, is a perfect example of former central planning gone wrong.”
“This new Auckland suburb now has among the highest vehicle ownership on the Auckland isthmus, despite being designed as a public transport ‘mecca’ and only two kilometers from the Glen Innes train station
“The next Mayor of Auckland needs a programme which directly addresses this planning failure. My Better Transport Sooner plan will.”