Mayoral hopeful John Tamihere plans to get rid of Auckland's regional fuel tax - and sack the entire board of Auckland Transport as part of his transport policy unveiled this morning.
But he still planned to build a new harbour crossing which would turn the Harbour Bridge into a 10-lane, four-rail track superstructure.
Rival candidate Phil Goff said last week the proposed crossing would cost $10 billion, but Tamihere today said that number was made up for "scare and smear tactics".
Money lost through dropping the "Goff gas tax" would be recouped from central Government, he told this morning's press conference.
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Public-private partnerships would also contribute funding, according to Tamihere's policy document.
Auckland had become the "City of Snails" under Goff and Auckland Transport, Tamihere said, as he promised to unlock the city by prioritising road and rail projects and focusing on major traffic choke points.
Goff has hit back, saying the plan would "gut" public transport and was "unfundable, unworkable and undeliverable".
A spokesman for Goff said the fuel tax was now legislation and would require Government approval to be removed.
Tamihere's policy names priority roading projects including Mill Rd, Penlink, the Puhoi to Wellsford motorway, the Kumeu bypass and the Port Access upgrade.
The policy also advocates for building the East-West link - a transport project to link Onehunga and Mt Wellington which was a National government priority but is now being re-evaluated.
Tamihere said he would reroute the link along the current transport corridor, with two-lane viaducts built over rail lines where necessary.
It also contains a promise to make public transport travel times competitive with car travel.
Private investment would also be sought to build new park and ride facilities at no cost to council, according to the policy.
He also promised trains and "tram trains" running to Auckland Airport within nine years, with some 42km of new rail built across Auckland.
Appointing two Auckland Councillors to AT's board would increase the accountability of the transport organisation, Tamihere said.
The policy also covers ferries, cyclists, and park'n'ride facilities and has been reviewed by transport industry bosses, according to a statement from Tamihere.
He said he would take his instructions from the people of Auckland, rather than Wellington "like the present guy".
Goff said Tamihere's plan lacked a business case to back it up, or engineering case to show it was viable.
He called the plan "electioneering nonsense costing billions of dollars that the Government won't fund and Aucklanders couldn't and wouldn't fund through their rates".
"The Auckland Transport Alignment Project massively increased funding by $9 billion. It is getting projects around the city underway, like the Eastern Busway and extensions to the Northern Busway, stations like Puhinui, and major arterial roads like Penlink and Mill Rd.
"Tamihere would create commuter chaos by promising to slash $4.3 billion worth of funding for transport projects. That would gut public transport and massively increase congestion."
Tamihere and Goff will go head to head at 7pm tonight in a debate hosted by the Herald and Newstalk ZB.
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