14 Dec 2012

Report backs need for Auckland rail tunnel - mayor

10:55 am on 14 December 2012

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says a new report that supports a rail tunnel under central Auckland shows it needs to be done, despite the lack of Government support.

The 700-page Government-ordered study says without the proposed $2.4 million central rail link the city will be crippled by serious congestion and growth of the downtown area will be stunted.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the report is just a valiant attempt to make the project stack up and falls short of convincing the Government.

Mayor Len Brown told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme that at some point everyone will have to agree that the work is critical.

"This is an all-agency report delivering the appropriate answers to the minister and to the Government saying that the city rail link ... is the answer and is three or four times better than any of the other 45 options that were looked at."

Heart of the City chief executive Alex Sweny said the Transport Minister's comments were patronising and immature.

He said government officials need to realise that Auckland's transport demands need to be solved if the city is to thrive.

The council has begun planning work for the tunnel even though funding is uncertain.