This morning the mayor released his proposal for the Long Term Plan, which outlines the 10 year budget for the city. This is the first stage in a 9 month process.
Long-term Plan timeline
- August 2014 – Mayor’s LTP proposal
- December 2014 – Auckland Council adopts draft LTP
- January and February 2015 – Public consultation on the draft LTP
- April 2015 – Public hearings
- June 2015 – Local boards adopt local board agreements and governing body adopts final LTP.
The proposal is available on the council website here. The proposal does not have a huge amount of detail, and more based around funding outlines with some major projects mentioned. Today I will just do a quick outline of the document, and we will follow up with more analysis tomorrow.
Here is what the document has to say about transport. Note that capital expenditure of $469 million, compared with $826 million in the 2014/15 Annual Plan. However this is going to be cut back by $150 million as we noted yesterday. This seems to be a mixed bag. Great to see City Rail Link still included. On the positive side good to see Penlink, other arterial roads and most of the oversized Park and Ride strategy cut back. However difficult to see how Lincoln Road is such a priority for upgrading, it is hardly lacking traffic lanes at the moment! Disappointing to see the North-Western busway pushed back even outside the 10 year timeframe. I’m sure this can be staged appropriately so we can see some good progress over the next few years.
Transport represents the most significant proportion of our total budget – almost a third of our operating costs and over 40% of our capital budgets. The funding envelope in the baseline budget is a significant reduction in the capital programme in the current LTP and has an even more significant shortfall on the aspirations reflected in the Auckland Plan.
This baseline proposal includes major projects such as:
- The City Rail Link
- North Western Growth Area projects
- Warkworth SH1 intersection improvements
- The East – West connections
- Lincoln, Te Atatu and Dominion Rd upgrades.
The full detail of the list will be the subject of discussion between Auckland Transport and ourselves over the next couple of months as part of fleshing out the draft LTP for consultation. The basis of that discussion will be the criteria by which we rank projects and getting a shared level of comfort with that process. Naturally I would want to see our strategic shifts towards public transport active modes strongly reflected in those criteria. However, the basic transport option is not what I believe Auckland wants or needs. It is an investment programme that will not solve our existing transport problems and in fact will see them get worse. Under current funding arrangements what we can afford involves foregoing a significant amount of transport investment that Aucklanders have told us they wanted through the Auckland Plan. We wouldn’t be able to deliver a range of projects including:
- A majority of local and arterial roading projects across the region
- Almost all of the park and ride projects currently programmed
- The North-Western busway
- Strategic projects such as Penlink and rail electrification to Pukekohe. I beleive Aucklanders want all of these projects and have an expectation that the entire transport programme contained in the Auckland Plan be delivered in the 30 year timeframe.
The plan also outlines a number of projects that will proceed as are needed to support growth including Special Housing Areas. That is something we have noted previously so is good to see this mentioned. Seems to be a little bit of a grab bag of projects though. Will need more than the Te Atatu busway station to support growth in the North-West, and not sure Drury station is a priority amid other capital cuts as will only be served hourly when Papakura station is so close and will have 10 to 15 minute frequencies.
Some examples of these projects are:
- Watercare’s central interceptor project
- Grade separation at Avondale
- Tamaki Drive shared walking and cycling path
- Work with mana whenua on redevelopment of Ruapotaka marae
- Otahuhu aquatic centre and library
- Improved public transport between Mangere/Otahuhu/Sylvia park
- New Takanini library
- Grade separation at Walters Road, Takanini
- Te Atatu bus interchange
- Westgate stormwater ponds
- Lake Road, Takapuna streetscape
- Train stations at Drury and Paerata
- Manukau transport interchange
- Ormiston library and community centre.
Grade separation at Walters Road has been the hold up for Addision/Glenora station so hopefully that should allow that station there to proceed.
Overall I think need to wait for more detail to see effect of transport projects, and it will be interesting to see if Auckland Transport prioritises public transport within this reduced spend or keeps building lots of lower value roading projects.