Airport Rail Loop Designation

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Concerned at the complete lack of progress in designating a rail corridor from Onehunga to Auckland Airport and continuing back to Wiri, the CBT wrote to Mayor Len Brown suggesting Manukau City start to look into it.

Mayor Brown has responded, indicating that a Memorandum of Understanding is being prepared between KiwiRail, Manukau City, ARTA, ARC and Auckland Airport to do exactly that. The exercise will be led by ARTA.

Full response is here.

Rudman: Sort out the airport buses before talking about a rail link

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Brian Rudman writes in today’s New Zealand Herald:

The Government’s antipathy to embracing new Auckland public transport projects has made the debate over a rail link to Auckland International Airport rather academic.

Which makes it rather surprising that the airport company should be so sensitive about a recent Metro article’s passing mention that it opposed such a link.

AIRPORT-CBD LINK ‘ESSENTIAL’

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Graeme Hunt reports in the Herald on the need for a dedicated link between the CBD and Auckland Airport.  Unfortunately the focus is once again on completing the roading network.  We are told that rail is enormously expensive and that Auckland Airport has ruled it out in the short to medium term.

A dedicated transport link between Auckland airport and the commercial business district is essential to lift the region’s tourism standing, Tourism Auckland CEO Graeme Osborne says. “My sense is that we are not any closer to that thing materialising. According some greater priority to an airport-CBD link is pretty important.”

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Action Called For Over Airport Rail Petition

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A petition calling for a rail link from Britomart to Auckland Airport will be presented to the ARC tomorrow.

 Petition organisers the Campaign for Better Transport have collected over 10,000 signatures in a little over four months. Over 2,000 of those signatures came from the campaign’s website www.bettertransport.org.nz.

“Having spoken to thousands of people, we can truly say that support for the idea is overwhelming. In fact most people ask why we need a petition to do this,” says petition organiser Jon Reeves.

Convenor or the Campaign for Better Transport, Cameron Pitches, agrees.

“The most challenging aspect of the whole campaign so far was going to the Environment Court, where we had to convince Transit, along with officials from the ARC and Manukau City Council, of the need to safeguard a rail corridor to the airport.

“The next challenge is going to be getting Auckland’s transport agencies to act on the petition.”

A report on possible future rapid transport links to the airport is due shortly from the Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

Rising oil prices, which today reached an all time high of $US108 a barrel, are adding further urgency to the campaign.

“The beauty about expanding rail to the airport is that it won’t just provide people flying in and out of the airport with a reliable connection to the city, but it will also provide thousands of commuters in the airport region with an alternative to their cars. Higher oil prices are going to drive more and more people to public transport, and we need to be expanding our rail network and its capacity as a matter of the utmost priority,” concludes Mr Pitches.


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