Labour has unveiled a $100 million plan for an urban rail
system for Christchurch with Leader David Cunliffe earmarking
existing transport funding for the project.
Mr Cunliffe and his transport spokesman Phil Twyford
announced the plan in Christchurch this morning where they
are campaigning with local MPs Clayton Cosgrove, Megan Woods
and Poto Williams.
Speaking on Addington Road, where the nearby station would be
the hub of the new network, Mr Cunliffe said the project
would "help de-clog Christchurch's roads and help rebuild a
vibrant modern city".
He said the quakes had changed Christchurch's population
distribution and created traffic congestion particularly in
the city's north.
"Commuter rail is the most cost effective way to reduce
congestion." The project would use both existing tracks but
would involve double tracking the city's northern rail line,
would involve the upgrade of stations and the purchase of new
Mr Cunliffe said new services would operate with a 15-minute
frequency during rush hour.
"This will be an investment in a public transport network
that will serve Christchurch for the coming century. This
money will come out of currently unallocated funds within the
National Land Transport Fund. It will not mean cutting any
other planned projects." The new network would link Rangiora,
Rolleston and Kaiapoi with Christchurch where park ride
facilities would be constructed ands opened those areas up
for new residential and commercial development.
Mr Cunliffe said the network would also spark urban renewal
in places like Papanui and Hornby.
Mr Twyford said there were about 5000 people currently
commuting from Rangiora and Kaiapoi every day and they were
routinely facing journeys of an hour or so in the morning
Modelling suggested about 10 per cent of those commuters
would choose to take the train if the services were available
which would halve the journey time for those travelling by
- By Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald