'No more excuses' not to start building light rail now Winston Peters is gone - Auckland Councillor Richard Hills

An Auckland Councillor says if he had his way, digging would start on the city's long-awaited light rail project at the bottom of Queen St tomorrow morning. 

But if National Party leader Judith Collins was in charge, it wouldn't be getting built at all.

Transport Minister Michael Wood will reveal the Government's plans on Wednesday afternoon. A previous attempt to get the project started failed when Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First were "unable to reach agreement", according to previous Transport Minister Phil Twyford. 

Winston Peters said because the $6 billion light rail project wasn't mentioned in the coalition agreement, he wouldn't back it

"He's gone now - there are no more excuses," Auckland Councillor Richard Hills told The AM Show on Wednesday morning. 

"We wish it was already underway. I hope today's announcement says that it is going to be underway, that we're putting spades in the bottom of Queen St tomorrow, would be good, to get it done."

Hills said it would be good not just for people who want to use it, but everyone, "whether it's people walking, cycling, wanting to take public transport, but also the people that need to drive - there will be fewer cars on the road". 

Collins, who has previously compared light rail to monorails and called the plan a "ghost train", told The AM Show it would be a "waste of time". 

"You know what we really need? What we really need is a second harbour crossing. We're told by the New Zealand Transport Agency we won't be able to have trucks on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. How do we know it's not 10 years' time? How do we know it's not eight years' time? That's where the priority should be at the moment." 

In February, Waka Kotahi said in another decade or two, the existing harbour crossing might not be able to safely carry heavy vehicles such as trucks. 

Collins said a harbour crossing would be more expensive, particularly her preferred option of a tunnel, but would "get rid of a lot of the problems that people have with another crossing". 

Senior Government minister David Parker in February said it's not top of the queue.

"It's not imminent. It is a problem, it has to be fixed, but not tomorrow." 

As for whether people actually use the "ghost train", as Collins put it last year, Hills is confident they will.

"We're an international city - we need better public transport options. We've seen if we build it, people come - like the North Shore busway. Over 50 percent of people going across the bridge in the morning are now in buses because we've supplied that infrastructure, it's there. 

"If you do the same with light rail from the city to Mangere and the airport, you'll see that same whole area of people in all those suburbs [using it]."

Wood's announcement is expected around 3pm.