At last some transport sense: no train to airport

Great news. The proposed rail link to the airport, a dopey idea at best, is now off the table after the NZTA and AT agree it’s a dog.

A commuter rail link to Auckland Airport – which could slash travel times to the international gateway – has been dumped in favour of trams or buses.

The scrapping of the heavy rail connection is a u-turn by the New Zealand Transport Agency, which last year said it was “extremely committed to providing a rail link connecting the airport and the city”.

Auckland Transport (AT), which has favoured rail to the airport as a high priority, meets today to decide if it will endorse the agency’s position.

Road travel typically takes about an hour from the city centre to the airport. Commuter rail could cover the 20km journey in 35 minutes.

The Transport Agency’s board ruled out heavy rail after it was shown an AT report at its last meeting.   

Agency regional director Ernst Zollner confirmed further investigations for rapid transit connecting the city to Mangere would be limited to light rail or a busway.

“This is based on evidence from Auckland Transport that a heavy rail option to the airport would present poor value for money.”

The same report is to be presented to the AT board today in a session closed to the public. The meeting’s agenda lists the reason for privacy as commercial sensitivity.

An AT spokeswoman expected the report to be made publicly available shortly after the meeting.

Campaign for Better Transport convenor Cameron Pitches, who has been pushing for rail to the airport for more than a decade, said he has now given up on it ever happening.

I had several objections. First, that the route was ridiculously expensive compared with other routes, necessitating a new bridge or tunnel across the Manukau Harbour. Secondly, that no airport rail system in the world is profitable and it would become a millstone.

The same goes for the dopey tram proposal. A busway is the most effective method of transport to the airport, both in terms of cost and convenience.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.