Government to move forward on City Rail LinkTransport Finance
The Government will work with Auckland Council to bring forward the start date of the City Rail Link (CRL), Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced today.
The Government is also working to formalise its funding commitment from 2020, which the Council has indicated would allow construction of the main works to start in 2018, at least two years sooner than currently envisaged.
Today’s announcement has been driven by strong growth in rail patronage and the need to provide investment certainty for large-scale developments in the CBD.
“The Government has agreed to work with Auckland Council to bring forward the business plan and formalise our funding commitment from 2020, providing the joint business plan with the Council appropriately addresses project risks around costs, construction and operation,” Mr Joyce says.
“It would also provide more certainty for large-scale projects like the $350 million NDG Auckland Centre at the corner of Elliot and Victoria Streets, and the $680 million Commercial Bay tower, which will replace the Downtown Centre,” Mr Joyce says.
The 3.4 kilometre underground train line will run from Britomart station in downtown Auckland through the CBD to connect with the existing western line at Mt Eden station.
“With an estimated cost of around $2.5 billion the CRL will be one of New Zealand’s largest-ever transport projects,” Mr Bridges says.
“It will double the capacity of Auckland’s rail network, provide two new stations in the central city and benefit commuters whose travel times will be reduced significantly. For example, Auckland Transport estimates that a commuter travelling between Henderson and the planned Aotea Station will save on average 17 minutes per trip,” Mr Bridges says.
Mr Joyce says a number of important and quite complex issues are still to be worked through.
“They include how project costs will be finally shared between the Government and the Council, and how the CRL will be owned and managed.
“Providing these issues are resolved, we’ll aim to finalise the business plan later this year.
“I am confident we will be able to complete the business plan and funding commitment this year,” Mr Joyce says.