There is widespread public support for a rail link to Auckland airport. The vision is to build a rail link from Onehunga to Auckland Airport and continue the loop back to the main trunk line via Puhinui Rd, in order to service not only airline passengers but the more than 10,000 workers who commute to the airport vicinity every day.
What isn’t so clear is what the next steps should be.
In late 2007, through Environment Court mediation, the Campaign for Better Transport negotiated with Transit and Manukau City to preserve a corridor for rail to the west of the newly widened motorway at Mangere Bridge.
Since then, no practical progress at all has been made in securing the necessary rail corridors. In the meantime, building developments are encroaching on available space, particularly along George Bolt Drive.
If rail to the airport is to have any chance of eventuating, then Manukau City Council, along with ARTA and KiwiRail, need to work together urgently to designate the rail corridor, before it is too late.