Election 2014: Labour - We'll start rail link

By Mathew Dearnaley

Photo / Adrian Malloch
Photo / Adrian Malloch

Labour and the Greens both want an immediate start to Auckland's underground railway, but are divided over whether to complete the $2 billion-plus Waikato Expressway.

The potential coalition partners say they want to rebalance transport spending away from the Government's heavy focus on roads, but Labour's policy issued yesterday undertakes to complete the expressway between the Bombay Hills and Cambridge by its timetabled date of 2019.

That is despite the Greens wanting to pull the plug on bypasses of Hamilton and Huntly, which the Government wants to start building late next year for $1.26 billion.

Labour's policy, released by its transport spokesman Phil Twyford, promises a shift from "low-value" projects towards what the party says should be the best investments for growing the economy, reducing congestion and moving the country's transport system to a more sustainable footing.

That means reviewing and delaying some of the Government's six remaining Roads of National Significance, to free up funds for upgrades to rail, coastal shipping, public transport, regional roads, safety and cycling. Its main casualty would be an extension of Auckland's Northern Motorway to Wellsford for $1.7 billion, much of which Labour would divert to a half-share of the $2.2 billion revised cost of the city's underground rail project.

The Greens are proposing 60 per cent government funding for the 3.4km rail link. Mathew Dearnaley

- NZ Herald

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