Labour prom­ises to fast track light rail sys­tem

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - VER­NON SMALL

Labour has fired the first ma­jor salvo in the Mt Roskill by-elec­tion cam­paign with a prom­ise to fast-track a light rail sys­tem from Wyn­yard Quar­ter through Brit­o­mart to Mt Roskill.

The 13-kilo­me­tre route is ex­pected to cost al­most $1.4 bil­lion, and Labour leader An­drew Lit­tle said the Gov­ern­ment and Auck­land Coun­cil would pay about $680m each. The line would be the ba­sis for a more ex­ten­sive light rail net­work.

He said Auck­land Coun­cil had in­cluded the light rail line as part of its 10-year plan from 2016 to 2026. But the Gov­ern­ment’s Auck­land Trans­port Align­ment Plan had pushed it back to af­ter 2028.

Labour was keen to start work on the line ‘‘as soon as pos­si­ble’’ and would work with the coun­cil to make it a pri­or­ity within 10 years.

Lit­tle de­nied the pol­icy was an elec­tion bribe, say­ing it brought for­ward an ex­ist­ing plan.

Na­tional candidate Par­m­jeet Parmar says Wood is des­per­ate to be a politi­cian and is putting Labour pol­i­tics ahead of Mt Roskill. She said he had changed his stance on light rail from last year when he had said light rail was ‘‘not a fully formed pro­posal’’.

An­drew Lit­tle and Michael Wood an­nounce Labour’s plan to tackle Auck­land’s traffic prob­lems.

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