Mixed response to Mt Roskill light rail
The idea of trams hurtling down Dominion Rd has prompted mixed responses among the public. On October 30 the Labour party promised to fast-track a light rail system from Wynyard Quarter through Britomart to Mt Roskill.
The 13-kilometre route is expected to cost around $1.4 billion with Labour leader Andrew Little saying the Government and Auckland Council would pay about $680m each.
It comes in the build up to the Mt Roskill by-election between National and Labour on December 3.
LJ Hooker Mt Roskill branch manager Ross Harvey says it’s ‘‘childish’’ to think you can go into an electorate and attempt to ’’buy votes’’ on the promise of putting tram tracks in the road.
‘‘Where the hell are the ratepayers going to get 700 million?’’ Harvey says.
‘‘And when does even the Government get in the position to get another 700 [million], which they probably won’t, so it’ll never get off the ground.’’
Harvey, who has worked in business in the area since 1976 says he’s watched the traffic grow.
But light rail isn’t the answer, he says.
‘‘There’s some pretty simple answers actually to fix some of the traffic problems, most of them have already been created by council so I just think it’s absolutely ill-conceived nonsense,’’ Harvey says.
‘‘Auckland used to have trams there, Auckland used to have trolley buses. They’ve all gone, it didn’t work. Sort out the bus network.
‘‘When I read [the proposal] in the paper I couldn’t believe it.’’
Neville Cranston of Dominion Rd business KJ Flooring says the internet should be upgraded in the area before light rail is put down.
But response hasn’t all been negative. Sally Vandal of Mt Albert has praised the proposal. ‘‘Auckland needs public transport systems that will take us anywhere we want to go. We have a long way to go to meet international standards,’’ Vandal says.
Mt Eden resident John McCarthy says it will be great to see Andrew Little team up with Phil Goff on the proposal. Labour says it’s 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.
An artist’s visualisation of light rail proposed for Auckland by the Labour Party.