Two big new Auckland roading projects announced by the Labour-led Government last week are not timed for another six or seven years, according to a council report.
Details of the Penlink connection between Whangaparaoa and SH1 and Mill Rd in the south are contained in a report about Auckland Council's proposed regional fuel tax of 11.5 cents a litre.
The report said the "Timing of Project" for Penlink is 2025-2028 and the full Mill Rd corridor "will be delivered in stages over the next few decades" with the first stage timed for 2024-2028.
It said that while the programme of projects is based on the best current information, "it is likely as time progresses and projects are developed that both the costs and timing could change".
Last night, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said in a statement that "the indicative timings in this draft council document are not Government policy and do not show when projects would start.
"The phasing of (Auckland Transport Alignment Project) Atap projects will be determined by Auckland Council and New Zealand Transport Authority through the Regional Land Transport Plan.
"The Government is determined to get the largest transport build programme in New Zealand history under way as soon as possible," Twyford said.
The land is there, the consents are there, the community are crying out for action
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Unlike the two big roading projects, the "Timing of Project" for a raft of public transport projects part-funded by the regional fuel tax begins in earnest this year and continues until 2028 under the ATAP programme costing $28 billion.
Auckland councillors meet today to approve the projects to be part-funded by the regional fuel tax for public consultation.
It came as a big surprise when Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced in the Herald last week that Penlink and Mill Rd were key elements of Atap.
Both roads were favoured projects of the former National-led government, which Twyford said were "starved of funding" by National. He talked about the benefits of the roads but said nothing about timing.
Penlink is being proposed as a tolled, two-lane 7km road costing $200m with the council providing $66m from the petrol tax. It was costed at $240m back in September in the last Atap update for the National Government.
The council report said "faster than expected growth and major planned development along the Silverdale interchange has accelerated the need to progress Penlink".
Mill Rd was planned as a highway from SH1 at Manukau south to Drury to support growth and provide an alternative to the southern motorway. The council's contribution towards the $500m first stage was $102m.
Last week, Auckland Chamber of Commerce boss Michael Barnett said an "official 'go' should not be far away" for Penlink, adding "the land is there, the consents are there, the community are crying out for action".
Barnett yesterday said putting the two big road projects at the end of the 10-year cycle would dent the goodwill and confidence the construction industry and business took from last week's announcement.
National's transport spokesman Jami-Lee Ross said it was disappointing Twyford made a big song and dance about Penlink and Mill Rd last week.
If he was really serious about the vital link to Whangaparaoa and growth in the south he should deliver the projects much faster, Ross said.
Transport projects being considered by council for regional fuel tax funding and their timing
• Bus priority, such as more bus lanes and double-decker buses - 2018-2028
• City centre bus projects - 2018-2027
• Better public transport/roads to airport - 2018-2021
• Eastern busway - 2018-2025
• Park & Ride programme - 2018-2027
• New electric trains - 2021-2026
• Downtown Ferry Terminal upgrade - 2018-2024
• Road Safety - 2018-2028
• Cycling and walking - 2018-2028
• Penlink - 2025-2028
• Mill Rd - 2024-2028
• Arterial road improvements - 2018-2028
• Improved public transport/road services - 2018-2028
• Growth-related transport infrastructure - 2018-2028