David Shearer on the Holiday Highway

A great op-ed by Mt Albert Labour MP David Shearer in the NZ Herald today – talking about the Puhoi-Wellsford “holiday highway”. Here’s a couple of particularly good extracts: … I just can’t agree with Transport Minister Mr Joyce’s recent announcement to start preparatory work on a new Puhoi to Wellsford motorway.…
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Sylvia Park Plan Change

In the last week or so Proposed Plan Change 235 to the Auckland City District Plan has been notified. This is a private plan change, made by the owner of the Sylvia Park mall, and is designed to allow significant further intensification of the site upon which the Sylvia Park mall is located.…
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Funding for Wharves Slashed

A rather worrying article in today’s Herald that funding for the upgrade to Bayswater Wharf, and the construction of a wharf suitable for ferry services at Beach Haven, have been delayed. Here’s part of the article: Extra Government investment in roads is being blamed for the disappearance of funding for two new Auckland ferry terminals.…
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Further info on Western Line changes

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog post on the changes being proposed to the Western Line’s timetable. I was critical of two aspects of these changes:I criticised the three minute lay-over at Newmarket on the grounds that it just adds to the length (time-wise) of Western Line trips, which have already been inconvenienced in terms of time compared to how things were when the Newmarket West temporary station was in operation.…
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The Public Transport Leadership Forum

Amidst spending zillions of dollars on motorways over the next few years, NZTA’s National Land Transport Programme also established the “Public Transport Leadership Forum”. This is what’s said about that forum in the NLTP: Meanwhile, an NZTA programme will take a longer-term view of public transport investment while seeking to make decision-making processes more robust.…
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Massive support for Hamilton-Auckland commuter rail

A petition supporting the introduction of a Hamilton-Auckland commuter rail service, signed by 11,500 people, was presented by the Campaign for Better Transport today. Here’s the full press release: 11,500 Say Yes to Waikato Trains This morning the sustainable transport group the Campaign For Better Transport presented the largest railway petition New Zealand has seen for decades in a bid to have commuter rail services between Hamilton and Auckland.…
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Tweaking the Western Line

From Sunday April 11th there are going to be some minor changes to the timetable for the Western Line. These are explained in ARTA’s media release (which I had emailed to me but doesn’t seem to have shown up on either the MAXX website or the ARTA website): Train timetable tweaked The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) announced today the timetable for Western Line train services will change from Sunday 11 April.…
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MAXX website still needs to improve

About a month and a half ago ARTA launched a tweaked “MAXX website”, which is the front-door for people wanting to catch public transport in Auckland. It’s where you can find out timetables, updates about what’s happening in the system and also use the journey planner to work out the best way to get where you want to go, and the next bus/train/ferry that’ll take you there.…
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The Emperor’s New Car

Clive Matthew-Wilson, famous for putting together the “Dog and Lemon Guide” to cars has done a detailed study  called “The Emperor’s New Car” on the sustainability and environmental friendliness of electric cars. The results are pretty shocking: Despite their ‘green’ image, electric cars are often less efficient and more polluting than the petrol cars they replace, according to a major report… Matthew-Wilson, who edits the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide, says: “The car industry is selling a false image of efficient, environmentally-friendly electric cars powered by ‘green’ energy.…
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