Mayor Len Brown has warmly welcomed the government’s announcement providing support for the City Rail Link (CRL).
“Since the government announced its support for the City Rail Link (CRL) back in 2012, I have been asking the government to provide certainty over the funding. That is what we needed and that is what the government has delivered today (27 January).
“To reach our vision of Auckland being the world’s most liveable city, we need this to happen. Aucklanders have been waiting for the CRL for decades and it’s been my number one priority since my first Auckland Council mayoral campaign.”
“I have long championed the City Rail Link project because it will be transformational, not only to keep Auckland moving but also to boost the city’s economic and social life.
"Its benefits will be felt across Auckland as well as building a great heart in the central city. Today’s guarantee of completion of the link in 2022 is excellent news.”
Video: Inside the transformation of Albert Street
Government support will help Auckland cope with rapid growth
Len Brown says government support for Auckland infrastructure projects will help Auckland cope with its growth as the engine room of the New Zealand economy. Auckland’s population is growing at 3 per cent a year, or more than 800 new people a week. Over the past two years, Auckland’s economy has been growing at an extra $3 billion a year.
“Today is a major milestone but this is just the beginning. I promised Aucklanders I’d keep Auckland moving and we have a clear vision for to ensure that happens.”
Positive working relationship with government
The Mayor paid tribute to the ministers involved in today’s announcement including John Key, Finance Minister Bill English and Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
“We have a very positive working relationship with the government and a joint commitment to solving Auckland issues. Together, we are making good progress with a transport accord to help address issues of connectivity and synergy."
The Auckland Transport Alignment Project, as the accord is known, was signed in August 2015 enabling a process in which Auckland Council and the government will agree objectives and targets for transport in Auckland.
“This is the next step in our collaboration with the government to seriously address traffic congestion and make our public transport system a more desirable option for getting around our city.”
Work on CRL underway
Work on the CRL began just before Christmas in Albert Street where infrastructure is being moved to make way for the new rail tunnel.
Auckland Transport figures show that last year, rail patronage increased 22.9 per cent or 2.9 million trips to total 15.4 million trips. At current growth rates, the patronage target of 20 million trips per year, set by the government for funding of the CRL, will be achieved at the end of 2016, three years ahead of schedule.