Last night, Campbell Live dedicated their entire show to looking at transport, with a large focus on what is happening in Auckland. Even better is that they produced an entire segment looking at our Congestion Free Network proposal.
The first two segments are on the same video. The first one looked at Auckland’s current problems, which were summarised as:
- A motorway network that has a lot of lanes and is busy primarily at peak times;
- A rail network that was never really designed with passengers in mind, but is at capacity;
- A bus network that hasn’t really been changed to reflect the changes in the city for 40+ years, that is at capacity.
I think that is a fairly accurate description of where we are at, and importantly it noted that (particularly at peak times) the networks are at capacity.
The next segment looked at what projects are currently happening or proposed. I must say I did have a little chuckle at referring to the Western Ring Route as a loop, considering some of the frustration that has been expressed by the use of the term when referring to the City Rail Link. As for AMETI, that is the first time I have seen that animation of the Pakuranga busway station, and it looks interesting (can we have a copy please Auckland Transport). I also loved how the rest of the projects were referred to as a Christmas wish list, and combined with the way the interview with Len Brown was edited, really highlighted it as such.
The third segment looked at what other regions think about transport funding and Auckland. As highlighted, the real problem the regions are facing is that the Roads of National Significance (RoNS) are sucking up most of the funding. However, while it is mentioned that Auckland has three of the seven RoNS projects, I do question why it sits on Auckland’s books. Sure, it is being built within the region, but probably the strongest advocates for it are from Northland who call it a lifeline for their region – despite it not looking to do much for them. The rest are elsewhere in the country, including some particularly expensive ones in the Waikato and Wellington. I’m sure you economists out there will be bound to have something to say on the comment that the agricultural products on rural roads are just as valuable as, say, someone getting to work in the Auckland CBD. Also, is it just me or did Wayne Brown just suggest Far North transport priorities are being driven by what forestry truck drivers complain about?
And lastly, in my favourite segment – but then in this regard I guess I can be a bit biased – Campbell Live covered our Congestion Free Network. They did a great job by taking our maps even further and animating them.
A very big thanks to the Campbell Live team for covering the proposal, and judging by many of the comments I saw from all over the place, it appears that a lot of people like the idea which is excellent.
It’s been a big couple of days for us with the CFN: on Tuesday morning Sudhvir had an op-ed about it published in the Herald, while on Tuesday night we presented the plan to IPENZ. Things aren’t slowing down though – next week we will be presenting the plan to the council’s Transport Committee, and along with Generation Zero we will be pushing the idea during the upcoming local body elections.