A number of times over the past few weeks we have criticised both Auckland Council and Auckland Transport for the poor job they’re doing when it comes to selling the benefits of the City Rail Link project, with a result of that being a sometimes pathetically poor understanding of the project’s benefits, what it actually costs, what it will do, what it won’t do, why an overhead option is a silly idea and so on.
As we’re not a hypocritical bunch here, we also felt that while this blog contains a huge amount of information on the City Rail Link project (this post is the 228th to use the tag), we should try to put things all together in a way that’s a bit easier to access and can also find a tricky balance between being simple enough for those not familiar with the project to get a general feel for why it’s so necessary, while at the same time providing various numbers, diagrams, graphs and pictures, along with weighty arguments – to provide some real grunt behind our conclusions around the project’s need.
So we have created a “City Rail Link” page – which you can visit by clicking on the link just under the blog title – or by clicking here. We’ve also set it up so that www.transportblog.co.nz/crl redirects to our City Rail Link page, for really easy access.
The main CRL page has an overview of the project, some bullet points of its benefits, a bit of detail on cost and a summary of where it’s at. Over time the main focus is going to be creating a bunch of sub-pages on the project’s benefits – as well as probably researching a bit more into its rather long and convoluted history (dating back at least as far as the 1920s).
At the moment, there is a sub-page on how the CRL increases the capacity of Auckland’s rail network – but over time further sub-pages will be created on all of the following reasons to build the CRL:
- To ease the pressure on the city centre’s roading network by reducing the level of future increases in buses and cars.
- To significantly reduce travel times on Auckland’s rail network – especially for trips from areas along the Western Line to the city centre.
- To allow higher train frequencies to be operated on all lines of the Auckland rail network.
- To provide sufficient capacity in the rail system for future extensions (rail to the airport, Avondale-Southdown line etc.) to be possible.
- To stimulate business activity in the city centre and other rail served centres and generate agglomeration benefits.
- To stimulate higher intensity residential development around the rail network and reduce the need for Auckland to grow via urban sprawl.
- To enable a much more efficient and effective bus network.
- To improve rail access in the city centre.
- To allow trains to be routed through the city centre and offer one-seat rides between centres on different sides of Auckland.
What we’re asking in this post is basically for a bit of help in relation to the following questions:
- Is there anything we’ve missed in the above list of broad reasons to build the CRL?
- Is there anything in particular which compelled you to think that the CRL is a really important project for Auckland, and do you think that’s something that should be included somewhere within the CRL page or sub-pages (and what is it)?
- Are there any particular blog posts (if you can find the link that’d be great!) that you’ve found really helpful in explaining the CRL in the past, which should be referred to in the page or sub-pages?
- If you’re still sceptical of the project (don’t worry, it’s OK), what information are you really interested in finding out more? What issues need to be addressed in a comprehensive assessment of the why the project is needed?
- What good information is out there on the internet (aside from this blog) relating to the project – perhaps particularly in relation to its rather long and convoluted history?
- What do you think would be really good ways to communicate some of the really key points about the project?
If this goes well, similar pages for other major transport projects might be worthwhile doing.