Light Rail, Skypath & more in government plans for city centre
Step change projects for the city centre like Light Rail and Skypath are back in the news this week with the government’s announcement of their draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport.
The GPS will guide the spending of $4b per annum on transport projects across New Zealand, including by NZTA and Auckland Transport here in Auckland. There is a substantial increase in funding for public transport and walking and cycling initiatives (like Skypath) as well as $4b allocated to rapid transit (Light Rail) over the next 10 years, initially in Auckland. Investment into our transport network is critical to keep our city working for business, so we’re keenly interested in what this will mean for Auckland.
So what happens next?
The government hopes to have ‘spades in the ground’ for light rail from the city centre to the airport within two years, and budget has been provisionally allocated through the GPS. Firstly though, Auckland Transport (and other local authorities) have to consult on and then submit their Regional Land Transport Plans (RLTP) by June this year to NZTA, which will then consider what is funded by Government.
As well as confirming funding, there is considerable discussion to take place about the Light Rail project in Auckland – including the final route, the design approach, phasing of construction and importantly, engagement with affected local communities including the city centre. This will be a major project for the city centre and Auckland so we will be keeping a close eye on details when they are released and will keep you informed as they come to hand.
We are expecting the release of Auckland Transport’s Regional Land Transport Plan this month, and we will update you on what’s included it as well as how to give feedback.
In the meantime, you can give feedback on the draft GPS which is open for submissions until 02 May 2018. Find out more and give feedback.