Push for early start on City Rail Link construction

Len Brown. Photo / Janna Dixon
Len Brown. Photo / Janna Dixon

Auckland residents pushing for an early start on construction of the City Rail Link will be holding a rally outside Britomart this afternoon.

So far, the Government has said starting early construction on the rail link - a 3.5km route from Britomart which would link in the western rail line at Mt Eden - would depend on whether rail patronage could be increased,

Annual passenger trips would would need to reach 20 million for construction to start before 2020, Prime Minister John Key has previously said.

Passenger trips last year reached 10.1 million, down from 11 million the previous year.

Green Party transport spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter, who is hosting the 3.30pm rally, said committing to funding of the rail link build in 2015 would mean it would be up and running by 2021.

"Auckland needs the City Rail link completed as soon as possible. It will ease every day congestion and also enable the city to grow in a way that is liveable, vibrant and less dependent on fossil fuels,'' Ms Genter said.

The bill for the rail link creation has been put at $2.86 billion. Auckland Mayor Len Brown has promised to push for the project to start in 2016, with a completion date in 2020/2021, if elected for a second term.

Ms Genter said Auckland Council documents showed delays to building the rail link would limit public transport for the next 13 years and cost $100 million per year.

"New Zealand is on the verge of winning back the America's Cup. We also need the CRL[City Rail Link] to support major events, as well as giving Aucklanders a smarter and greener transport network that works better every day.

"The City Rail Link will be the heart of a congestion-free network of electric trains, busways, ferries and cycling infrastructure,'' Ms Genter said.

- APNZ

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