Over the next week there are a couple of important submissions that you should make on key transport initiatives:

  1. The draft Government Policy Statement – submissions close on May 2nd.
  2. The Regional Fuel Tax legislation – submissions close on April 20th.

Government Policy Statement

I talked about the draft GPS in more detail when it first came out. There are so many good things in here it’s hard to know where to start, but in your submission you could highlight support for:

  • The much stronger focus on public transport, walking and cycling in the GPS’s strategic direction
  • The new rapid transit activity class that finally provides some funding certainty for key projects light light-rail and busways.
  • The increase in funding for walking and cycling
  • The much stronger focus on safety, including a big move to adopting a Vision Zero approach
  • Some of the details, like a shift to funding footpaths, a greater focus on creating vibrant places and much much more.
  • The much more balanced funding allocation

Make your submission on the draft GPS by downloading the submission form from here and emailing it to [email protected]

Regional Fuel Tax Legislation

Nobody likes a new tax and the proposed Regional Fuel Tax comes with some legitimate concerns about the extent to which it may be regressive, hurting those on lower incomes more than those of higher incomes. But we’ve struggled to see any viable alternatives proposed and without this extra money essentially it will be impossible to make any progress in improving Auckland’s transport system. Therefore we do support the Regional Fuel Tax and you should as well.

The legislation simply enables a Council (only Auckland until 2021 but potentially other councils after that date) to apply for a Regional Fuel Tax, specifying the projects it intends to spend that money on. The details of “the proposal” are still to be revealed (presumably this is waiting for ATAP to be finalised and Auckland Transport to produce an RLTP that isn’t rubbish) and there will be further consultation (tired yet?) in the fairly near future. But still, I’m sure there will be plenty of opposition to the legislation (hopefully at least some of it constructive) so it can be useful to highlight how there really is no viable alternative to Regional Fuel Tax for now.

Make your submission on the Regional Fuel Tax legislation here.

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  1. The GPS seems to be pretty silent on freight, or am I missing something? Isn’t this actually pretty crucial? Shouldn’t the GPS be about transitioning freight to low emission and inherently more efficient modes? To safer modes – trucks seem to be involved in considerably more fatal or serious injury crashes than their proportion of km travelled aren’t they? Where in the GPS is the rollout of new rail lines? (We want a rail line from Nelson to Christchurch)

    1. There seem to be 2 problems.

      One is that the law needs changing; the GPS says, “Coastal shipping services, ports and airports are considered when planning for land transport services that link to these facilities, but operate on a commercial basis without funding from the Fund. GPS does not authorise the use of Fund revenue for these activities.”

      The other is that although this GPS is a great improvement on what National planned and includes pious statements like, “The movement of freight, which is critical for the New Zealand economy, should not result in the loss of life or cause serious injury” and “The Government will work to reduce carbon and harmful pollutant emissions from transport and improve public health outcomes by . . . supporting rail and sea freight”, it still spends too much on roads.

      Thus it says, “the scope of the GPS is likely to expand to include aspects of rail freight and coastal shipping. GPS 2018 includes a transitional rail activity class to provide scope for funding key passenger rail projects that cannot wait for the rail review and second stage GPS. While GPS 2018 makes provision for rail funding, the scope of this funding is very tight.”

      It seems to me it wouldn’t be so tight if it wasn’t spending more on roads than the 2015 GPS.

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