Thursday, March 26, 2009

National Party is messing up transport in Auckland now

Did you mark my words..?... oh wait I did...where I posted here about how National Party was doing OK but needed to do something more with sustainable transport.

Well they messed up by reallocating all of the money set aside for public transport to more state highways. They divert your attention away from where the money came from by saying it was through administration costs. This doesn't stack up because how can they have streamlined $420 million on administrative costs if they haven't laid anybody off? Yes they have probably saved some on paper letterhead costs but the organization still has the same people, just governed by a different board. That money is coming out of money set aside for public transport, and walking and cycling funding. They've conveniently left out that sound bite.

I understand that Mr. Keyes may be hesitant to try to 'force' people from their cars. But the Auckland Northern Busway is an example of a well run public transport system that is packed full of people who find it more convenient and cheaper to use than driving.

In the rural areas, yes, roads are better for transporting agriculture goods. But a rural solution cannot be imposed on a growing metropolitan area constrained by the harbours. It's just not going to work and now it's going to take another year for them to figure that out, just like it took the Labour party to figure this out . It's just a matter of time before the gas prices rise again and little ol' NZ will be at the bottom of the proverbial barrel.

The logic is by investing in more infrastructure New Zealand will boost the economy with jobs. Well this logic applies equally to public transport in the Auckland area. Auckland is geographically constrained. There are no more places to build roads so now they are just gold-plating the motorways. Well if that is the case they might as well gold plate them with cycleways.

Bring on the Auckland Royal Commission, as the system we have now is not delivering, no matter what party is in flavour. Maybe they'll be able to provide some leadership.

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