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Auckland Council’s CBD Tunnel Review

In addition to the government’s review, here is Auckland Council’s full review of the CBD Tunnel - http://transportblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/City-Rail-Link-Summary-Report-13-May-2011.pdf

The executive summary:

Historically, a range of proposals have been developed for a rail tunnel through the Auckland city centre. In 2010, a preferred route for a tunnel, the City Rail Link, was identified and work commenced on a concept design and Business Case to support designation of the route. In November 2010, Auckland Transport (AT) and Auckland Council (AC) in partnership with KiwiRail Group (KRG) presented the case for the City Rail Link to the government for its consideration.

The Minister of Transport (MoT) requested a review of the City Rail Link (or CBD Loop) proposal. That Review has been undertaken over the last 5 months and its report is expected to be released shortly.

The government led Review has provided AT and AC with an opportunity to further review the assumptions, refine the costs and benefits, and identify the further work needed to secure funding for the City Rail Link. All of this work has been made available to the government led Review team and the same material used to prepare this report.

The Review confirmed that the costs of constructing and operating the City Rail Link are accurately estimated, with a small increase in operating expenditure arising from new information which became available after the original Business Case was completed.

There was, however, a wide disparity between the benefits assessed by the MoT/Treasury Review compared with those estimated as part of the AT and AC update. This is largely due to the lower transport benefits assessed as part of the government led Review.

AT and AC consider that, taking into account the wider transport policy initiatives which are planned, the City Rail Link would deliver overall benefits exceeding overall costs, with the benefit cost ratio ranging from 1.1 to 2.3 (BCR = 1.1 to 2.3).

While there are differences between the findings of the government led Review and the AT/AC update, AT and AC and their advisors are strongly of the view that the overall evaluation results are sufficiently robust to justify the immediate commencement of the designation process, particularly as the CRL is economically justifiable in terms of its transport related benefits alone. This process needs to commence as soon as possible to minimise the potential for any development to increase costs, delay the project, or even prevent its implementation.

AT and AC acknowledge that, in line with all major project development programmes, more work needs to be done to further develop the case for funding of the City Rail Link. This work will take full account of central government‟s requirements for the development of public sector funding requests.

In addition to progressing with this work, this report recommends that the Auckland Council resolve to immediately commence the process to secure and protect the route of the Auckland City Rail Link.
This summary report presents AT and AC‟s key findings arising from participation in the government led Review of the City Rail Link project.

Let’s hope the council releases all their background documentation shortly, and that MoT do the same. It will be good to pin-point exactly why the two review differ so hugely.

16 comments to Auckland Council’s CBD Tunnel Review

  • If I was Auckland Council I would embarrass the Government by announcing a review of the review…

    • Ingolfson

      Brisurbane, that would just ensure that 99% of all the public turn off – “just a bunch of politicians squabbling…”

      No, the right way is to continue undaunted with the designation / planning process, and keep hammering the benefits and the needs, primarily in the public sphere, not in a cost-benefit boffins calculation. Cost-benefits depend on so many input factors that the results will ALWAYS be politically influenced. So one needs to fight this fight in the political arena. People get excited about the idea of fast, electric trains bringing them into fancy new city stations or a night out. They get excited about the ability of reliable trips in the morning in a comfy carriage to work, instead of languishing on the Southern Motorway.

      That’s what will win the fight, most primarily – bold ideas and visuals – not the number at the bottom of a spreadsheet.

      • Ingolfson

        Oh, that and the new electric trains. Crunch time isn’t now. Crunch time will be 2015 elections, when the patronage boost and PR benefits of the new electrification will be strong, and the public is likely to start getting tired of National in a way they aren’t now. Then, National will either have to sign up to the tunnel, or give their electoral opponents a major drawcard. Right now, I am afraid transport isn’t a big election theme at all. It should, but isn’t.

    • I would just say that the assumptions matter, a LOT!
      Otherwise you get obviously bizzare results such as the SE Busway which is bursting at the seams with patronage, having cost benefits as low as 0.3

      http://www.patrec.org/web_docs/atrf/papers/2009/1834_paper152-Bitzios.pdf

  • sj

    I no longer have any desire to live in a country that is so consistently averse to useful reform. Goodbye New Zealand!

  • dan

    How shocking. The Transport Minister refutes aspects of the rail link justification proposal. It confirms my faith in his sense of fairness to know that he will also of course go through his own motorway proposals with the same surgical, sketpcial eye.

  • dan

    Much as I just did with my spelling on that last post.

  • Buffalo Bob

    Why do we continue to hear silence from Labour on Auckland’s Transport Issues…….
    We like to blame Joyce for all of this……but when is Labour going to actually say something meaningful on this issue… all Jacinda has to say is…

    “deeply cynical about Joyce’s latest dismissal of CBD rail link, and calls for council to explore other options. PT is almost at capacity!”

    This is nice…but what I she doing about it?

    The Leadership is asleep at the wheel………

    • arnie03

      No, she says this too

      My view hasn’t changed either. I’m against the Puhoi to Wellsford project- we could make significant safety improvements along that stretch of road without the huge waste of investment the Government is talking about. In contrast, the CBD rail tunnel is a project we need if we are to build a world class transport system in Auckland

      http://jacinda.co.nz/index.php/2011/05/the-holiday-highway/

      • Matthew

        Labour is failing its duty, allowing trash like this to stand as impartial analysis. BIG *SIGH* from me. Its good to see the council stand firm.

        Auckland is a wonderful city, and it could be a great city but the country seems to lack leadership with vision or clue about how the world is changing.

        I have been in Hungary recently, mostly in Budapest. Budapest with 1.7million people has a super impressive PT network: road, rail, metro, tram, (electric & petrol) bus, cycleways. They are building their third metro line currently. I highly recommend the place this time of year, friendly, warm and beautiful.

        I have to say i was jealous, if only they had west coast beaches i would consider relocating.

        • I love Budapest, and how high and steep are those escalators to the metro? They’re worth the ticket alone. Crazy depressives though, those Magyars…

          Labour are having to get up to speed, it’s disappointing, although what’s not to like about Darren Hughes and the Greens? Also don’t knock Jacinda she get’s it and is getting very high up, even if they were to get some sort of hold on gov this time it would make for a very good change for transit:

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10730975

          • Matt L

            I think you are getting your Hughes’ mixed up, Gareth Hughes is the Green MP, Darren Hughes is the former labour MP who resigned after police started investigating a naked teenager running from his house in the middle of the night.

          • Oooops, mind you he was quite good too, and whatever misunderstanding went down in the middle of the night doesn’t bother me. Big boys, sort it out.

          • Matt L

            No he was useless, he was their transport spokesperson for the last few years until a few months before that incident happened. We hardly heard a word from him about transport and not much has changed with his successor

  • Buffalo Bob

    That’s nice…
    But what has Labour Leadership said on the issue….. SFA to sum it up….

  • Yi Su

    As we know from APB&B report the projected benefit and cost ratio for CBD Rail link project is between 3.5 to 6.6.It sounds extremely great. After the review of AT the BCR would be at 1.1 to 2.3. It sounds still great. Does anybody know what the projected benefit and cost ratio for Northern Busway before it was built? And what is the real benefit and cost ratio after it has run about 5 years?

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