Mike Lee on rail to the airport


from the CBD to the airport risks being a costly failure. …

To most Aucklanders I speak to the idea of trams to the airport remains something of a joke — and now not so funny given the cost of $4b just for an airport and Westgate tram line. Aucklanders are being told they will have to pay for this not only in their rates but also in an extra fuel tax. Extraordinarily, on the advice of tyro transport ministers Phil Twyford and Julie Anne Genter this tax is to be imposed for a project that has no business case.

That’s okay. They also decided to close down an entire industry with no business case or analysis.

Light rail (trams) to the airport will be slower to build, provide a slower journey, serve a more restricted catchment and cost far more than extending the existing rail network. Why isn’t the Government capitalising on the huge strategic investment going into the City Rail Link? …

There certainly is a role for light rail in Auckland as we max out bus capacity on our inner city routes — but light rail will be a hugely expensive failure as a rapid transit airport solution.

Mike Lee is Labour-aligned and a former director of Auckland Transport. If he says light rail to the airport will be a huge mistake, they should perhaps listen to him.

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