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Draft Auckland Plan lacks information - AA

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Simon Lambourne, AA Auckland transport spokesperson, says "the Draft Auckland Plan unfortunately contains very generic statements and lacks essential information, so the 'in principle' support or opposition the AA has expressed in our submission is conditional on details the Council needs to provide in the future."

Motorists concerned re Council's ability to improve public transport and roads

"The AA has told the Council that it needs to urgently improve the way it engages with motorists, who express significant concern about the Council's ability to deliver public transport and roading solutions."

AA conditionally supports pedestrian-first City Centre and a Queen Street mall

"The AA has provided the Auckland Council with conditional support for its proposal to create a 'pedestrian-first' CBD - with lower speed limits, more shared street spaces, more parks and open landscaped areas. We are also supporting Queen Street being turned into a pedestrian mall, from the waterfront to Aotea Square, with public art, cafes and a historic tram."

"The AA's support for a 'pedestrian first' CBD is, however, conditional on the Council providing sufficient short-term and long-term parking for motorists on the edge of the CBD. This will cater for all those Aucklanders who, despite future improvements, are still unable to use public transport to get to the CBD, and those who prefer to use their car instead."

AA concerned by Council's failure to transparently prioritise transport projects

"The AA has acknowledged the Council's balanced list of public transport and roading projects. However, given the lack of available funding, we have expressed concern about the Council's failure to prioritise regional projects in a transparent manner which focuses on the principles of benefit-cost efficiency, geographic distribution and customer preference," says Mr Lambourne.

AA believes Council should prioritise bus improvements

"The AA believes the Council's public transport priority should be upgrading the existing bus and rail networks, infrastructure and services across the region. Only once this is done should the Council consider expanding them."

"The AA believes the Council should be focusing on expanding the bus network ahead of rail. It is much more affordable to expand the bus network than it is the rail network, and a focus on buses would provide a far greater number of Auckland motorists with a realistic alternative to using their cars."

"While there is strong support for improving trains, the reality is that proportionate to the number of people using buses, only a very small number of motorists, in very limited geographic areas, would benefit from expanding the train network, which is a very expensive alternative to the bus."

Motorists prefer Harbour Tunnel, and Penlink needed

"The AA has advised the Council that motorists have expressed a preference for the additional harbour crossing being a tunnel. We have also stated that Penlink, should be included in the list of regional transport priorities, subject to appropriate funding being agreed."

Council urged not to mislead funding debate using national transport projects

"The AA has recognised the funding gap for transport projects in Auckland, and told the Council that additional funding tools must balance the principles of fairness, equity and user pays," says Mr Lambourne.

"We have advised the Council that while the AA would support the introduction of tolls on new roading infrastructure to fund it, we strongly object to any plan to introduce tolls on existing motorways and roads, which motorists have already paid for through fuel excise and road user charges."

"The AA has also urged the Council not to mislead any regional funding debate by including national projects, for which central government is responsible."

AA rejects Council's 2016 road pricing proposal

"The AA has rejected the Council's proposal to introduce road pricing around 2016 to reduce congestion and provide the Council with additional money. This is just an attempt to price Auckland motorists out of their cars, which is completely unacceptable given the lack of public transport across the region."

AA Survey Results

The survey of 1,822 local Members from 30 September to 16 October 2011 has a margin of error of 2.3%. Together with the May 2011 survey of AA Members in Auckland, it was used to assist the AA in drafting its submission on The Draft Auckland Plan.

City Centre

67% of AA Members surveyed strongly opposed or opposed reducing the number of car parking spaces in the CBD.

55% strongly supported or supported turning Queen Street into a pedestrian mall.

71% strongly supported or supported lowering speed limits on streets in the CBD.

53% strongly supported or supported transforming some of the CBD roads into shared spaces, where cars, bikes and pedestrians have equal way.

69% strongly supported or supported transforming some of the CBD roads into parks and open spaces.

Public Transport

� 52% of AA Members surveyed considered a bus to be their most important public transport alternative to using their car in the future. 32% considered it to a train, 5% considered it to be cycling, 4% considered it to be a ferry; 4% considered it to a tram, and 3% considered it to be walking.

Funding

� 56% of Members surveyed strongly agreed or agreed that everyone in Auckland should pay an equal amount for a new transport project.

� 43% said that the Council should borrow money for a new transport project.

� 36% said the Council should sell some assets to pay for a new transport project.

� 44% said only those who use a new transport project should pay for it.

� 18% said those who live or work near a new transport project should pay for it.

Road Pricing

� 54% of AA Members surveyed strongly opposed or opposed road pricing being introduced around 2016.

The AA's submission and latest survey results are available online, www.aa.co.nz/auckland

ends

Note for Media: The attached CBD drawing was used by the AA in its submission and is also available as a high resolution image for media to use.

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