Support for rail network

South Auckland people have overwhelmingly supported the City Rail Link for central Auckland.

An independent poll indicates 61 per cent of people living in Auckland Council's Franklin, Manurewa-Papakura and Manukau wards support building the link with only 11 per cent opposed.

Overall the poll of 1099 Aucklanders, conducted by Horizon Research, showed 64 per cent support for the link and 75 per cent support for integrated bus and rail improvements to public transport in Auckland.

The survey also highlighted the travel habits of people in the south and the need for a quality transport system.

The survey found that 28 per cent of South Aucklanders travel to central Auckland for work, while 12 per cent work in the west. 

From the data supplied, 77 per cent of their destinations are on the rail network. Only 45 per cent work in the south.

Forty-five per cent of South Aucklanders travel outside of that area to take children  to school and 51 per cent travel to other areas for shopping. Sixty-two per cent of visits to friends and family are out of the south.
''We all know transport is Auckland's biggest problem,'' mayor Len Brown says.
''We all know that Auckland's transport infrastructure has been under funded and real solutions repeatedly postponed. And more and more people are realising that increasing numbers of cars and buses are just going to see the city gridlocked physically and economically.''   

 A third of those surveyed thought buses both caused and were affected by congestion.
''I'm heartened by the rapidly growing understanding that the solution is a fully integrated transport system, where Aucklanders can drive to a park and ride, catch a connector bus to link with trains, ferries and express buses, or use a new cycleway.
''As responses in the poll reflect, more Aucklanders have travelled overseas and have seen the transformative effect good, integrated mass transit systems - particularly electric rail - have on both moving people around a city and reducing congestion.
''I've long said when we build the city rail link, they will come, and this poll reinforces that.  

''It indicated a potential 65 per cent increase in patronage from poll respondents saying they would use the rail network if we connect it all up by the City Rail Link.''
Mr Brown says he's pleased that comments in the poll also reflects Aucklanders' increasing understanding that the link is not an inner-city route but a means to link the entire rail network, allowing and more frequent rail services with Auckland's new electric trains and realising Britomart's original design as a through station, rather than a cul-de-sac rapidly reaching capacity.
''Auckland Council is now securing and designating the CRL route. We have a consultative working group including the council, community organisations, and business and transport groups to consider and develop alternative options for funding critical transport projects, from the CRL to the Waitemata Harbour Crossing, Penlink, rail to the Airport and the East-West Link.
''It's important we consider new ways to fund these major transport projects in a way that is affordable and fair for Aucklanders, instead of loading all the burden onto the rates bill. The council and the government need to invest in a mix of road and rail projects to provide the region with a transport system which will cope with a population of two million plus.''   

In the Horizon poll, more than half of people surveyed thought the government should contribute significantly to funding major transport projects, while tolling new roads was supported by 30 per cent and targeted rates had the support of 24 per cent.