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Media StatementReport on Auckland Transport Released

20 April 2007

Ministers and Auckland political leaders are considering the recommendations of a report released today by the Auckland Transport Strategic Alignment Project steering group.

The project seeks to get agreement by both central government and Auckland local government leaders on a high level strategic plan for the long term development of Auckland’s land transport system. The report sets out officials’ recommendations on what should be included in a common strategic view.

The report shows that there is a large degree of alignment between Crown and Auckland officials, including that a substantial shift to public transport is needed, starting immediately.

A key strategic decision that needs to be made is the speed at which public transport should be developed over the next 10 years. The report presents two scenarios, a rapid growth scenario and a steady growth scenario. Under the rapid growth scenario, public transport services would be developed at a faster rate in the first ten years than under the steady growth scenario. However, both scenarios represent a substantial increase in public transport services compared with current levels, and both would see public transport mode share increase from 7% currently to 15% by 2051.

The Auckland Transport Strategic Alignment Project (ATSAP) arose out of discussion between Auckland’s political leaders and Ministers in May 2006 around the funding of Auckland’s land transport system. Ministers and Auckland Mayors agreed that the Crown and the region’s views of the long term development of Auckland’s land transport system may not be aligned. It was also agreed that before decisions could be made on funding issues, a common strategic vision for Auckland transport, including passenger rail, needed to be agreed.

The joint (Government-Auckland) steering group consists of senior officials from Auckland Regional Council, Auckland City Council, the Ministry of Transport, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Land Transport New Zealand and the Treasury.

For further information

Peter Burke, Senior Communications Advisor, Ministry of Transport, 021 659 489

Questions and Answers

What is the purpose of the report?

The report provides a draft common strategic (20-30 year) view of Auckland’s land transport system, for Ministers and political leaders to consider.

What does the report say?

The report shows that there is a large degree of agreement between Crown and Auckland officials. Areas of agreement include:

  • the need for a substantial shift to public transport (PT) over the next 30 years, starting immediately,
  • the basic components of the PT system - the Rapid Transit Network, Quality Transit Network, Local Connector Network and targeted services
  • the development of the strategic roading network, including the use of traffic management systems to improve the operation of the existing strategic roading network,
  • the use of travel demand measures to influence behaviour and optimise existing capacity.

The steering group also agree on the following modifications to Auckland’s current strategic view:

  • A 30 year view is needed. The Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) currently only looks 10 years ahead;
  • Auckland’s Regional Land Transport Strategy should examine the value of introducing pricing measures to reduce traffic congestion;
  • Greater direction on local roading should be provided in order to:
      • integrate local roading improvements with public transport objectives
      • integrate with the investment in, and management of, State Highways, and
      • deliver on other objectives, including safety targets, economic development opportunities and regional growth strategy needs.
  • The need for greater emphasis on travel demand management and traffic management techniques to optimise the use of existing capacity.

What will happen next?

Ministers and Auckland political leaders will consider the recommendations of the report and there will be further discussions between the parties.

If the report's recommendations are adopted, what practical difference would it make, and when?

An agreed view about the direction for transport between the Crown and the region will better align decision-making. This will provide much more certainty in planning and delivery for all organisations involved with Auckland transport.

The report sets out two possible growth paths for Auckland’s public transport system – rapid and steady growth. How much will each path cost and who will pay?

The rapid growth path is expected to cost in the order of an additional $1 billion over ten years. The steady growth path has not yet been modelled or costed. Implementing the services of this path may require additional funding, but this is likely to be at a lower level than the rapid growth path.

The second phase of the project will examine funding issues, ie – how much will be required to implemented the agreed view, sources of funding and who will pay.

Other than the Steering Group, have any other organisations been involved in the development of the report?

The ATSAP steering group is supported by a joint (Government-Auckland) working group. The group consists of officials from Auckland City Council, Auckland Regional Council (ARC), Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), Ministry of Transport, Land Transport NZ, Transit, and the Treasury. The group is supplemented by members from the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry for the Environment, Department of Internal Affairs, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and ONTRACK. The working group consults with other interested central government departments, Auckland local authorities and external parties as appropriate.

ENDS

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Officer for Enquiries

Peter Burke | Ministry of Transport
Tel: +64 (0)21 659 489
Email: P.Burke@treasury.govt.nz
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