Auckland Transport and the NZ Transport Agency say that providing better connections for freight in Auckland’s industrial hub of Onehunga/Penrose will release early benefits for East-West related investments.
Auckland Transport Key Agency Initiatives Group Manager, Rick Walden says, “the work we’ve done to date supports focussing our efforts to the north of Manukau Harbour. This is likely to solve a number of transport-related issues in the economically significant area of Auckland.
“Our focus on the north side is the key priority for our two organisations for at least the next decade and no new major road links will be progressed on the south side of the Manukau Harbour between SH1 and SH20 at this stage. This will be welcomed by communities in the South who have expressed concerns regarding the potential impacts of the East-West Link.”
Mr Walden says that Auckland is a growing city and in order to meet anticipated growth, future investment throughout the city – including South Auckland – will be required.
“We’ll continue to work closely and collaboratively with communities to find the best solutions to maximise our public transport infrastructure, as well as enhancements to existing roads before any new roads are considered.”
The Transport Agency’s Acting Auckland Highways Manager Steve Mutton adds that evidence highlights the economic importance of the Onehunga/Penrose area, and that improving access for freight will be an important component of improving and growing Auckland’s economy.
“This area is Auckland’s industrial heartland employing some 60,000 people and it continues to grow. Ensuring that freight has safe and efficient connections to and from the state highways is a key priority for us.
“Improvements being considered for the Onehunga/Penrose area provide better access for freight and commercial vehicles to the state highway network from this heavy industrial area – while keeping other road users safe.”
“Our studies show that many of the benefits can be realised without major roading investments to the south side of the Manukau Harbour.” says Mr Mutton.
Mr Mutton says that further work is required to determine the preferred option and any likely impacts.
“We’ll continue to work with our stakeholders and customers as these investigations progress to make sure we get the best possible solutions in place for local communities and Auckland as a whole,” he says.