Trains ruled out as northern corridor solution

03:13, Jul 18 2014
Northern Motorway traffic jam
BUMPER TO BUMPER: Northern Motorway traffic in Christchurch.

There will be no trains between the Waimakariri to Christchurch because the $10 million cost is too expensive, the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) says.

Read ECan's rapid assessmet report here.

Southern regional director Jim Harland said both the cost and placement of the current infrastructure meant it would not be well utilised.

The announcement came as part of a report on options to ease crippling congestion on the northern motorway.

The report has been a closely guarded document as funding was worked out between all partners, district and city councils, the NZTA and ECan.

Instead, authorities will turn their attention to a $3m bus package which looks at increasing bus services during peak times, and adding a new commuter service between Rangiora, Hornby and the airport.

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Harland said the Christchurch City Council would not commit cash to the bus package unless they could fund it from existing budgets, and consult with ratepayers first.

Harland said interim short-term measures were working in the meantime.

Transport between authorities is a delicate balance with ECan responsible for operating public transport and respective councils footing the bill for infrastructure such as shelters and car parks.

Heavy congestion on the northern corridor to the city has plagued commuters since the start of the year.

The Waimakariri District Council had projected nine years growth in just three years based on building consent numbers.

Short-term solutions, such as bollards and car pooling, have been pushed by authorities until a long-term option is settled upon.

Last month authorities said the corridor was oversubscribed by 300 vehicles during peak hour between 6am and 7am.

The Press