More spent on re­ports

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

Re­ports on Queen St bus lanes have cost ratepay­ers $40,000 more than re­vealed last week.

The Auck­land City Coun­cil has spent more than $116,000 on pro­pos­als, re­ports and peer re­views into the project.

Last week the coun­cil detailed the costs at just un­der $75,000.

But fig­ures re­leased to coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey show an­other three re­ports, at a cost of more than $40,000, were also com­mis­sioned.

And the coun­cil wouldn’t re­veal costs of a fur­ther re­port into park­ing in the CBD.

Dr Casey says she’s con­cerned the full amount may not yet be known.

“I don’t know what the fi­nal to­tal is go­ing to come to but it could be as much as $1 mil­lion. That’s ridicu­lous.”

She says costs should be made clear when re­ports are ap­proved by coun­cil com­mit­tees.

Trans­port com­mit­tee chair­man Ken Bag­u­ley says the fig­ures first given out only in­cluded work by the trans­port depart­ment.

The miss­ing re­ports were car­ried out by the CBD group.

The work was ap­proved by the pre­vi­ous Dick Hub­bard-led coun­cil, with the first five re­ports car­ried out be­tween Fe­bru­ary 2006 and Au­gust 2007.

Peer re­views of those re­ports, prompted by con­cerns from Queen St busi­nesses and re­tail­ers, were car­ried out in De­cem­ber and March.

“When there was a change of coun­cil that process was al­ready un­der way,” Mr Bag­u­ley says.

The trans­port com­mit­tee shelved the bus lane pro­posal ear­lier this month based on the re­port find­ings that it would have lit­tle ben­e­fit.

But mem­bers ap­proved spending an­other $500,000 on a wider study into cen­tral city trans­port is­sues, to be com­pleted by De­cem­ber 2009.

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