PT doesn’t have to be a left/right issue

One of the more disappointing things about Steven Joyce’s reaction to the CBD Rail Link business case is how political he has made the issue of transport funding. As I noted in my post a couple of days back – the integration of land-use planning and transport is being increasingly understood (they’re mutually dependent in many respects), just that Joyce comes out on the side of preferring auto-dependent urban sprawl to a public transport based compact city urban strategy. Joyce’s preference seems to be based largely on political grounds – that those nasty ARC planners have spent the last 10 years trying to force intensification on people who don’t want …

Rod Oram on National Radio

In the comments, Rob Russell has alerted me to the fact that Rod Oram talked about transport and spatial planning on National Radio this morning. A link to listen to the item is here. Somewhat coincidentally, I’ve also received today a copy of the original SAHA International assessment of the cost-effectiveness of the various Roads of National Significance that Rod Oram’s article a week and a bit ago referred to. The whole assessment can be read here, but I find page 33 the most interesting: So there we go. Proof the Puhoi-Wellsford’s cost-benefit ratio is actually 0.4.

Rudman on the Spatial Plan

NZ Herald columnist pulled out one of his best articles yet today – shining a light on the diverging opinions of central government and the Auckland Council when it comes to Auckland’s transport and land-use planning future. Writing in the Sunday Star-Times, Mr Joyce said the challenge for Auckland’s spatial planners would be “not to impose their ideal Auckland on us, but allow for an Auckland that reflects the varied ways in which the people of our biggest city already choose to live”. Simpletons like myself had thought the spatial plan concept was introduced to try to repair the huge cock-ups we Aucklanders have made by doing just that, choosing …

NZ Herald on CBD Rail Tunnel

Plenty of coverage in the NZ Herald today about the CBD Rail Tunnel project – including an editorial. Here are some extracts with comments: Anybody looking for reliable data to support this contention will not find it easily. The report, prepared by consultants for the former Auckland Regional Transport Authority and KiwiRail, is everything those commissioning it could have desired. It has not subjected their proposal to critical analysis, and does not highlight the likely operating losses that probably would be charged to ratepayers. I think this is an unfair criticism. The business case was over a year in the making, it encompasses around eight volumes, it has been reviewed …

Joyce gets defensive

Last week wasn’t a good week for Transport Minister Steven Joyce. Starting on last Sunday, highly acclaimed business journalist Rod Oram wrote a superb article completely slamming the business cases for a variety of the roads of national significance that Joyce is so fond of. Then on Wednesday the business case for the CBD Rail Tunnel comes out – a project that he has been very very lukewarm on. Worst of all, the business case is ‘compelling’, mainly on the grounds of things like boosting productivity, transforming Auckland into an ‘international city’, freeing up the roads of 10,000 vehicle trips a day to the central city – so that roadspace …

Airport Rail moves forward – or does it?

Following on from the Memorandum of Understanding signed between various parties on improving transport access to Auckland International Airport a few months back, the tender for “the first stage of an investigation into preferred routes for rapid transit and state highway links to the airport” has been called. Here’s Auckland Transport’s media release: Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, the New Zealand Transport Agency, Kiwirail, and Auckland International Airport Ltd have signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake the joint investigation. The New Zealand Transport Agency will fund the first stage of the study, which is known as the South-Western Airport Multi-Modal Corridor Project. The study will identify preferred transport routes between …

Exploring the web of “wider economic benefits”

Steven Joyce’s main response to the release of the CBD Rail Tunnel business case seems to have been to immediately question the accuracy of the study. In particular, he has questioned the validity of including broad urban regeneration – or employment based – wider economic benefits of the project. This is taking a very big swipe at the business case, because it is these particular benefits that make the CBD Rail Tunnel stand head and shoulder above other large transport projects. Here’s a good summary of what he’s said (from here): Joyce said the report talked about congestion but didn’t get into the detail of how that would be addressed …

Guest Post: The West is being won, but is the South being lost?

This is a Guest Post by regular CBT forum contributor Jodi Johnston. If any readers wish to contribute a guest post please email the admin – details under “contact us”. Background For people who have seen my postings on the CBT Forum, this will all be familiar material to you all, and I do apologise that you have to see this again. For people who are not regular viewers of the CBT Forum, I hope you enjoy the following piece. Over the past twenty years, starting with the introduction of the ex-Perth DMUs in 1993, there has been a sea change in the suburban rail system in Auckland. We have …

Joyce’s disappointing response to CBD Tunnel business case

The NZ Herald today reports on the CBD rail tunnel business case, giving a particular focus to Steven Joyce’s very disappointing response to it. Over recent months it had seemed as though Joyce has warmed to the project, often describing it as something that did seem to ‘stack up’. But I really do need to wonder how genuine he has actually been with regards to the CBD Rail Tunnel. It seems like his comments reported in today’s paper perhaps highlight his true feelings: But Transport Minister Steven Joyce says a report from a $5 million study commissioned by KiwiRail and the former Auckland Regional Transport Authority raises many questions to …

Examining the CBD Rail Tunnel business case

After waiting months and months for the business case of the CBD Rail Tunnel to be released, it’s quite weird to now have literally so much information on the project at my fingertrips I don’t quite know what to do with it all. As I noted in my quick post earlier, my general feeling is that an exceptionally sound and detailed business case has been undertaken here which provides a very good argument for moving forwards on the project. As I had expected, the real benefits of the project relate to what might be called its secondary benefits – the way in which it enables Auckland’s CBD to be transformed …