Banks, Lee Enthusiastic About CBD Loop Plan


Auckland mayor John Banks is enthusiastic about the suggested route for the CBD rail loop – and ARC chair Mike Lee says the suggestion of running the line under upper Symonds Street is a “stroke of brilliance –and will certainly revitalise this wonderful old part of the city.”

Banks says the loop will unlock “the constraint of Britomart being a dead end station and double its capacity.

KiwiRail Chair Jim Bolger said there was still a long way to go with this project, “but it is vital that we take the necessary steps to protect the route for the future.”

John Banks said that that while further analysis is required, at this stage train patronage projections out to 2016 and 2041 for these three train stations indicate strong potential growth which is driven by the station locations in the heart of the CBD.

This would provide easy walking distance to all the CBD’s commercial, tourist, residential and educational opportunities as well aid, Excellent urban regeneration and economic development opportunities were available around the proposed three station locations. Thiswass particularly important given Auckland’s projected population growth.

Opportunities included redevelopment work around K’Road with the station centrally located on a ridge between Grafton Hospital and Ponsonby Road.

“Current population levels within 500 metres of the K’Road station are in the region of 7,000 employees and 2,500 residents. With future amendments to the existing zoning there is capacity to provide for approximately 20,000 employees and 7,000 residents. Similar opportunities exist around Newton while around the proposed Aotea Station there is the capacity to more than double the employment opportunities from 40,000 to over 80,000”.

ARC chair Mike Lee said the  tunnel will not only radically boost the efficiency of Auckland’s commuter rail network and nearly double the throughput of trains through Britomart, but a metro rail really will “be the making of Auckland, revitalising the CBD and giving Auckland a truly international feel.”

The chairman of ARTA, Mr Rabin Rabindran says the project is regionally based and the preferred option has been discussed with the Auckland Regional Council and Auckland City Council.

It has also been discussed with NZTA.

Mr Rabindran said the total cost of the project had not yet been finalised. Funding for the project would need to be negotiated between the region and the government, however in light of Auckland’s burgeoning population growth of almost an additional million people by 2050; forward planning for the region was not only prudent but essential.

“Naturally we need to ensure there is a sound business case to support the project and have a clear understanding of the level of investment required to bring it into reality before we proceed to the next step. “The project takes into consideration management of Auckland’s projected population growth to well over two million over the next four decades, which is over 70 per cent of New Zealand’s total projected growth

“This project for Auckland, made possible by the Government’s decision to electrify Auckland’s rail network is a transformational project for the region with the ability to provide significant economic, social and environmental benefits.

These benefits would accrue to the whole of the region”.

KiwiRail chairman Jim Bolger says the study currently underway is a first step in the process of identifying and protecting the route for future construction.

If we are to ensure rail is able to play its part in Auckland’s transport mix, both now and into the future we need to ensure the network has reasonable reach and flexibility.“




  1. joust says:

    The loop and new stations will make such a difference to the CBD.
    These comments seem to indicate the whole thing is gathering momentum.

  2. Jon C says:

    @joust I am confident it will happen

  3. joust says:

    I’m glad they’re spending the time and effort at the moment to get the business case right. To make sure we take advantage of an opportunity to build something that will help to transform the way we travel in Auckland.

  4. max says:

    “These benefits would accrue to the whole of the region”

    Well, at least THAT won’t be an issue anymore in the future, all the other complaints about Auckland Transport and the super city aside.

    Auckland = Auckland Region after Nov 2010.


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