INDEPENDENT NEWS

Mayors confident on rail deal ‘shortly’

Published: Fri 31 Aug 2001 06:47 PM
NEWS RELEASE
31 August 2001
Mayors confident on rail deal ‘shortly’
Auckland’s mayors have ‘absolute confidence’ there will be a signed deal between the Crown and Tranz Rail to secure access to the region’s rail corridors.
The chair of the Auckland Region Mayoral Forum, Auckland City Mayor, Chris Fletcher, said while the deal had not formally been signed by today’s deadline, she was certain it would be a reality.
Mrs Fletcher said it would have been nice to have had “signatures on pieces of paper today”.
“But this deal is so crucial to the long-term future of the Auckland region, that it is more important that the parties take extra time and get it 100% right,” she said.
“There are some process issues to be resolved. We can wait until we are sure all parties are in concert with the deal to be struck,” said Mrs Fletcher.
She said the rail deal was another example of Auckland’s councils working co-operatively to achieve the best possible outcome for the region.
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Access to Auckland’s rail corridors is a key element in the region’s future transport network and is one of the conditions of Infrastructure Auckland’s funding of $45 million for the Britomart interchange in downtown Auckland.
Mrs Fletcher said securing access to the rail corridors was the last piece of the jigsaw to be put in place that enables the region to move forward and implement its rapid transit plans.
“This is particularly relevant for Britomart, which is the heart of the network, as the signing of the deal satisfies a funding condition of Infrastructure Auckland.”
Councils in the region have been working towards improving the transport network in expectation of the deal since the Crown took over negotiations from the region in March.
ENDS

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