Government’s decision to spend a billion dollars on a new bike and pedestrian bridge across the harbour ahead of critical road and rail projects to ease congestion is “crazy”, says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett.
“This so-called “re-balancing” of transport priorities under the NZ Upgrade Programme because of budget blowouts and poor forecasting sees six of the 32 transport projects dropped or rescoped in favour of a glamour cycle project that will be used by so few. The definition of priority at a time when the economy needs to urgently lift its productivity and create business efficiency including, moving people and freight across the region and country defies all common sense” he said. “It will give business road rage at a time when we all thought urgency was being given to alleviating traffic choke points.”
“I want to know what new information these planners have to decide to drop Mill Road and opt instead for cosmetic safety improvements and upgrades to SH1 and rail, and new rail stations to connect more walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure. Question marks hang over transport and freight routes linking Auckland and Whangarei and beyond, but a bike and pedestrian crossing built at a cost of a billion dollars and forecast to be used by around 5,000 users a day gets the nod.“
“This is pandering to the minority and trying to make our emissions and climate change targets look better on the international stage.”
For more information, please contact Michael Barnett on 027 563 1150
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber