National would keep Auckland in the dark ages

National would have to cancel vital Auckland transport projects such as Mill Road and Penlink if it scraps Auckland Council’s proposed regional fuel tax, Transport Minister Phil Twyford says.

“National Leader Simon Bridges is hopelessly confused. One moment he is accusing the Government of robbing the provinces, next he’s saying they should pay to solve Auckland’s gridlock.

“Aucklanders want their traffic nightmare to end now. They can’t wait 30 years while National holds back Auckland’s growth. The majority of Aucklanders want a regional fuel tax because they understand the rest of the country cannot fund their transport solutions.

“Our Government is giving Auckland the certainty of a fully-funded transport infrastructure programme over the next 10 years that will create a congestion-free network, and unlock the enormous growth and wealth creation potential of our largest city.

“Simon Bridges would pull the plug on the largest civil engineering project in New Zealand’s history just to score cheap political points in the middle of a by-election.

“His first economic speech raises more questions than it answers. Simon Bridges needs to explain to Aucklanders why the following projects would not proceed:

  • Eastern busway (Panmure-Botany)
  • Airport-Puhinui state highway upgrade, bus/rail interchange and bus priority
  • Lower cost East West Link
  • Pukekohe electrification, third main Westfield-Wiri and further new electric trains
  • Papakura-Drury motorway widening
  • Mill Road (first phase)
  • Penlink toll road and Albany-Silverdale bus improvements
    Light rail (City-Airport and Northwest corridor), initial investment to leverage further
  • Significant safety programme
  • Enhanced walking and cycling, bus priority and network optimisation programmes
  • New infrastructure to enable greenfield growth

“Simon Bridges says National would fund ATAP through the “national budget”. He needs to tell New Zealanders what social services and infrastructure projects he would cut to find the $4.3 billion raised from regional fuel tax changes, on top of the $10.5 billion worth of new super highways he promised,” Phil Twyford says.