Here's the full statement from English and Bridges
Finance Minister Bill English and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have released a joint report with Auckland Council, setting out preliminary views on developing the city’s transport system.
“The report marks the completion of the second of three stages that make up the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), a joint project between the Government and Council to agree an approach for developing Auckland’s transport system over the next 30 years,” Mr English says.
Mr Bridges says it has found that achieving a step change in the performance of Auckland’s transport system will require a range of interventions.
“It concludes that while ongoing investment in new road and public transport projects will clearly be needed, greater use of technology and in the longer term, road pricing – or directly charging for road use, will also be part of the toolkit,” he says.
“The final stage of ATAP will look at what additional projects could be brought forward in the next ten years to support Auckland’s growth. If the benefits of early investment in these projects are significant, there may be a case for the Government and Council to make extra funding available,” Mr Bridges says.
Exactly how that funding could be provided would need to be considered after ATAP provides its final report.
“Auckland will need to accommodate an expected 700,000 additional people over the next 30 years. The emerging approach indicates a need to focus on ensuring transport enables and supports this growth, particularly through early investment in new growth areas in the north-west, north, and south of Auckland,” Mr English says.
“The approach also looks to better target investment to strengthen strategic road, rail, and public transport connections, as well as ensuring we’re making the most of the existing network,” he says.
Mr Bridges says the potential opportunities from current and future technology are exciting.
“ATAP is finding that by embracing intelligent transport systems early, we can position Auckland to make the most of any future benefits from connected and shared vehicles. Technology could also enable a progressive move towards road pricing.
“The final report due out later this year will make recommendations on how to implement the preferred strategic approach, and on areas that require further work,” Mr Bridges says.