Here’s our roundup of items for the week. If you’re a Western Line user I hope you’re found other solutions for today as the line is closed for works.


Queen St Pedestrian Mall

The area in front of Britomart is currently undergoing a massive renovation into a public space now that the City Rail Link tunnels have been built underneath it. Auckland Transport are now looking to formalise this and to extend the public space down either side of the former Chief Post Office building – on Tyler and Galway streets. As such they have a consultation out which ends on Monday.

We propose to:

  • amend the lower Queen Street ‘pedestrian mall’ to no longer allow any vehicles such as buses or private motor vehicles to transit through the area*
  • extend the pedestrian mall onto parts of Galway and Tyler Streets
  • erect bollards on Galway Street, Tyler Street, and at the intersections of lower Queen Street / Quay Street and lower Queen Street / Customs Street.

*Exemptions to this will include bicycles, e-scooters, emergency service vehicles, and authorised vehicles with prior permission from AT to undertake maintenance, make essential deliveries and collections, or to support events.

One thing I find weird is AT talk about there being 17,000 people using Britomart every day. While current usage of Britomart will drop a bit after the CRL opens, it’s worth noting that Britomart is already estimated to see more than that.

As mentioned, the consultation for this closes on Monday so get submitting in support.


Pt Chev Cycleway to go ahead but ….

AT announced yesterday that following consultation at the end of last year, the improvements to roads around Pt Chevalier will go ahead, but subject to funding approval. Their feedback report shows there was strong support for cycleways and other changes although exactly what gets built is still being finalised.

Speaking of funding ….


Council Budget Approved

The council yesterday voted on its emergency budget and approved the 3.5% rates increase option.

Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee today voted to endorse Mayor Phil Goff’s proposal for the Emergency Budget 2020/2021, which responds to the $750 million fiscal hole caused by the COVID-19 crisis and the urgent need for more water infrastructure to avoid increased water restrictions.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said it was one of the most difficult budgets in the council’s history.

“The COVID-19 lockdown has had a huge impact on Aucklanders and many businesses and like many, Auckland Council has also taken a severe financial hit, with a revenue shortfall of $475 million this financial year,” he said.

“On top of this, we have had to find a further $224 million for new water infrastructure to reduce the risk of severe water restrictions.

….

“We have also been able to increase transport investment by $40 million, including safety funding which is absolutely vital to ensure we are saving more lives on our roads.


Why aren’t they encouraging the use of PT?

On a regular basis, AT and the team working on the many downtown projects put out an email update of the project. This typically includes an update on the parts of the project they’re currently working on and advertising the local businesses impacted by the works. However, last Friday’s letter includes a section raising the question of how much thought goes into this.

Why aren’t AT encouraging people to drive to the city to shop and not to come via public transport, which has abundant access to this part of the city.


City Rail Link halfway

The main works for the city rail link have only really just started to ramp up but the overall project is has reached the halfway milestone.

Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) is “on schedule and on budget” as the eight-year, multi billion-dollar project, officially ticks past its halfway point.

The $4.4 billion CRL is the largest transport infrastructure project in New Zealand.

Then-Auckland mayor Len Brown, then-Transport Minister Simon Bridges and then Prime Minister John Key formally marked the start of construction at the downtown Britomart Train Station, in 2016.

Four years on and the site looks a lot different, with tunnels cut right the way under the CBD looping Britomart with three major central stations.

Chief executive Dr Sean Sweeney said to date, about $1.4b had been spent, with major works still to complete.

“We are on track, we’ve just resolved our last two major contract packages, so we are good to go,” he said.

“We are probably a third of the way through in terms of expenditure. There were the early packages, and then a bit of a hiatus while we waited for Crown funding and procured the rest of the job.”

The site of the future Karangahape Rd Station

Road deaths sadly continuing on

Since we came out of lockdown at the beginning of June, New Zealanders have clearly been hitting the roads and we’ve seen a surge in road deaths. For the first half of July the country has seen 20 people die on our roads, more than number that had by this time last year. One thing that’s notable about this number is that this has occurred with no foreign tourists on our roads, suggesting that

  • the demagoguery that often occurs towards foreign drivers is misplaced
  • that if anything, foreign drivers probably help in managing speeds on the open road.

A case for investing in public transport services

The managing director for Transdev has put had an excellent piece published in The Spinoff on why we should invest in more PT services and not just infrastructure.

But not everything needs a ribbon-cutting ceremony to deliver economic results – let’s think about “shovel-ready services” too.

One of the simplest ways to help trigger a recovery (and to fight climate change, which must not be forgotten about) is an idea that has been around for a long time. Essentially, this idea is about funding public transport to the tune of how we want our cities to work in the future, rather than disproportionately basing that funding on the number of people who have used public transport in the previous 12 months.

Currently, the government requires half the cost of providing public transport services to be paid for by fares.

There are two problems with this.

The first is that public transport benefits far more people than just those who use it. For instance, if you commute by car, think how much longer that would take if all those people on buses, trains and ferries were also using cars. Fewer cars on the roads also allows trucking operators to better conduct their essential business. Less congestion also means cleaner air, fewer emissions, more efficient use of space (less land is taken up by roads that often have to be widened over time), and stronger communities (which are bisected by busy roads that are dangerous and unpleasant to cross).

The second problem with basing so much public transport funding on current fare revenue is that trains, buses and ferries can’t be bought, and drivers can’t be trained and hired, once there’s a queue of people wanting to get on board. Public transport networks need to anticipate demand, not follow it.

….

The Covid crisis will likely have one positive legacy: accelerating the shift from morning and afternoon peaks, as a result of employers allowing office workers more flexible working conditions. “Flattening the curve” of public transport timetables – so that higher frequencies are maintained throughout the day rather than just having a morning and evening peak – has a huge benefit. Many of us want to hang onto more flexible working hours and public transport needs to respond to this. Many people in the coming months will need to access retraining opportunities, education and new employment. But of course you can’t have higher frequencies without more drivers, more buses, trains and ferries. Once again, the need to move away from basing decisions on current fare revenue is clear.

What is also clear is that investing in services will be just as good for our economic recovery, for jobs and, more importantly, for our cities and our climate, as the shovel-ready projects.

That’s it for this week.

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89 comments

  1. the big question is how much money did Auckland City make or save by moving a pedestrian crossing a few meters along Centerway road,

    and how much money did Auckland city council make, earn or save redoing the park at the end of Market road & on Manukau road between Greenlane & Epson?

    Just to mention two projects.

    1. The Campbell Crescent entrance to Cornwall Park is being constructed by the Cornwall Park Trust Board. Not a Council project.

    2. The question you’re asking about waste seems easy on the surface. It is similar to the one about upgrading facilities.

      If we take the example of cycling infrastructure, do you upgrade the north-western cycle way due to demand and near misses, do you increase the length of a section of segregated cycle way on the isthmus or do you create a shared path in an area with no safe cycling infrastructure.

      The merits of each of these projects can be argued and I believe they should, but the results of the deliberation and how the decision was arrived at should be shared with everybody, so that we can understand the tradeoffs being made. More information about the process reinforces the equity in the decision.

  2. “Why aren’t AT encouraging people to drive to the city to shop and not to come via public transport, which has abundant access to this part of the city.”

    Maybe it’s measures such as this why Council is in such a financial hole? For no apparent reason Council has decreased charges for a proportion of the population who are likely to be able to afford them while proposing to increase bus charges, (not to mention rates) that will affect many who can’t afford them.

    Or maybe there is an explanation? The car park is being prepared for the sale of the car parking rights. The lower the revenue is, then the more some Council officer can pat himself on the back and say, “look at the outrageous multiple or revenue I have achieved.

    Every day I am embarrassed by our city leader’s lack of progress towards a more environmentally friendly city.

  3. The tragic waste of life needs urgent change in our systems.

    We need safety experts to be able to work without having to fight every step of the way and without the hindrance of a preference to retain the status quo.

    1. If they just used increase they would be wrong. Ramp up doesn’t mean to increase, it means to increase something that is already increasing at a greater rate.

  4. The Pt Chev cycleway would be a lot cheaper if they left out the levitation system that allows people to walk 2cm above the footpath.

      1. I’m keen to know how they reduced traffic for that shot. 🙂 But AT have had a few suggestions from the community for how to do so, so here’s hoping… ha ha.

        Love the pohutukawa trees in their improved root zones. Thanks, AT!

  5. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/421417/national-leader-judith-collins-announces-infrastructure-plan-rma-repeal

    National has finally announced its transport spending priorities for the upper North Island. Unfortunately it’s a bonanza of spending on roads and only token mentions of PT and active modes.

    They’ve also promised to repeal the RMA and replace it. Serious RMA reform was something that the last National government campaigned on and then spent 9 years in power not doing. They haven’t articulated how this time will be different.

    The new roads they’re promising rely on a lot of tunneling, which will be tremendously expensive (both in capital cost and operating expenses). It’s unclear how a business case for them could stack up when they’re even further from urban centres than the current RoNS projects that already had pretty shaky business cases. NZTA has already published work on why a road tunnel under the Waitemata would be a bad idea.

    The talk of “new public transport technologies that come on line” shows they really don’t intend to make PT improvements. It’s just a tactic for delaying investment by saying they’re just waiting for the [trackless tram / hyperloop / latest unsubstantiated fad] technology to be ready before funding it. This can be repeated every year or so to put off spending indefinitely.

    A bit of lip service to walking and cycling links. Presumably this’ll rely on the cycleways fund. The only problem with this is that it’s at the mercy of local government to actually implement the projects. In Auckland’s case that seems to involve endless rounds of consultation and no actual construction.

    The only thing that gives me any hope is that it’s looking so unlikely National will be in any position to form the next government. But it’s terrible that one of our major parties is still trying to apply 1950’s solutions to 2020 problems.

    1. It’s pretty sad when Labour’s road spending boondoggles look mild compared to this F**k the Future plan from National.

      1. Lucky National have no chance of getting in next term, I mean who would vote for them with this crazy list? Not only that, cancelling Skypath 2?? do they mean the Seapath section or the whole lot?

        1. I could live with cancelling the $300m+ for Skypath if it was redeployed for building cycling infra across the whole city.

        2. Which projects are crazy?

          I’d say a Skypath for a few cyclists and pedestrians that is going to cost $360m is crazy.

        3. Cancelling Skypath 2 will be popular. Plenty of people, including cyclists, could think of a long list of better things to do with $ 360 m.

          A 4-lane highway from Whangarei to Tauranga will be popular too. Compared to what have today over the Brybnderwyns and the Kaimais, or through the Gorge.

          Rail from Puhinui and Onehunga to the airport will be popular.

          etc..

          Plus people will believe they will deliver better than the present lot.

          Rightly or wrongly.

        4. “Cancelling Skypath 2 will be popular.”

          In doing so would delay any alternative for years, it’s a drop in funds compared to the sea spent on roading projects. Even if it is a gold plated project I wouldn’t be that concerned compared to other transport spending.

        5. Vance putting a four lane road tunnel through the Kaimai’s immediately stands out as crazy. There is already an underutilised rail tunnel there, get some better use out of that before building something new.

          They claim they can do this without a fuel tax increase, so I’m guessing it will be funded out of general taxation, which will be interesting given they don’t plan to raise general taxes either.

        6. The existing rail tunnel could hardly be described as ‘underutilised now, in fact it is heavily utilised and difficult to use more due to ventilation/maintenance issues. I don’t know what the National party have in mind when they say “Kaimai Road Tunnel” but I’m guessing they mean a tube/tubes equivalent to at least 4 lanes. That massive width of tunnel 8km long is going to be very expensive before even considering the ventilation/drainage costs.
          A far better investment would be a rail tunnel closely parallel to the existing bore, geology already well known for the route, tracks already there, much narrower and less costly than a road tunnel.

        7. Sorry, underutilised is probably the wrong word. The tunnel can handle 96 trains per day, although that would require electrification or some other ventilation solution, it currently takes around 30 per day.

          ‘Plenty of capacity left’ is probably a better phrase.

        8. A better tunnel or set of tunnels to do first would be twin rail ones through the Bombay Hills for both freight and commuter/regional rail to the Waikato and BOP. Lots more demand for golden triangle than Northland.

        9. Grant , that was an idea put forward by Greater Auckland’s posting on Regional Rapid Rail in the 3rd section of their proposal .

    2. “they really don’t intend to make PT improvements.”

      We’ll only know if they intend to do something when they commit to multiple NW busways (at least four IMO) and a fifth, six AND seventh main line.

      1. Their current shadow cabinet is mostly people who were senior ministers (including 2 former ministers of transport) in the previous National government. They focused on a lot of low BCR expressways while delaying CRL by years (likely inflating its costs). What makes you think they’ve changed?

        1. Literally nothing. But given how bad they are with PT, their commitment to a NW busway is telling in that it is better than where we currently stand with Labour, which is…..????

        2. There are practically no senior ministers left from the previous government bar Collins and Brownlee, Bridges was rising up in the latter stages. They have mostly left now.

          It’s a very inexperienced looking shadow cabinet, with the majority having never served as a minister let alone a senior minister.

        3. Still way more talent in National than Labour.

          Why do you think Labour keeps trotting out Hipkins and Woods and nobody else?

        4. What are you basing that on Vance? They are mostly unproven, sure some will go on to be decent ministers in a future government but with David Bennett on their front bench they look as though they have about as much depth as Labour, which is an achievement.

        5. No signs of intelligent life in the National party caucus that I can see…. Nicola Willis? Chris Bishop? You’d have to be desperate to pick either of them. Complete no-hopers. Gerry Brownlee – tried and tested and extremely lacking? Nick Smith? You have to be joking!!
          Let’s face it – National know they haven’t got a hope. so they can say and do and propose whatever they want, it won’t make a blind bit of difference as none of them are going to be in government. Gerry and Nick will be pensioned off after this election and then Collins will be the last person standing. Come back in another 3 years.

    3. These look pretty good:
      -Electrification and commuter rail to Pokeno, 2024
      -Heavy Rail from Puhinui to airport to Onehunga per 2012 Len Brown plan.
      -3rd and 4th main built at once
      -avondale-southdown in 2030’s
      -busways to botany, Onehunga and NW to hobsonville
      -additional waitemata crossing, road + rail + tolls (existing bridge free), 2028
      -expansion of Waitamata ferries
      -Goal of 30 mins to work, hour across the city
      -Tolls for Brynderyn and Kaimai tunnels.

      1. “Heavy Rail from Puhinui to airport”

        There is already a busway well underway so this is a duplication and a waste of money.

        Re the additional Waitematā harbour crossing – where are all the extra vehicles meant to disperse to? City or Southern Motorway can’t take them.

      2. ‘Goal of 30 mins to work, hour across the city’

        It does sound good, hard to see how any of this or an expressway from Whangarei to Tauranga will achieve this though.

        The busway from Onehunga plan is completely mad, why would you run a busway to somewhere you also plan to service with an improvement to the HR network!?

        1. Some of those proposals are just ‘investigations’, ie Avondale Southdown. Auckland has had many, many investigations over the decades for non-road projects, almost all ended up on a dusty shelf somewhere. Diesel shuttles sounds like some half baked plan to use the worn out ADLs again.

        2. Why is it that everyone seems to put down the ADL’s , have used them to /from Pukekohe to Papakura and enjoyed travelling in them or is it you don’t like the noise/sound they make ?

    4. This looks like the promise a party that expects to still be in opposition would make. You don’t actually have to deliver it but it might lift your vote a bit and save a few MPs jobs.

      This is what Labour did in 2017 but they accidentally ended up in government so got found out for not delivering it. The problem now is no one will believe their promises even if they come up with something more achievable.

    1. Yeah it’s for that (according to AT’s website). A bit disappointing they couldn’t keep a service running Swanson to Kingsland though.

  6. This is a good point:
    “The second problem with basing so much public transport funding on current fare revenue is that trains, buses and ferries can’t be bought, and drivers can’t be trained and hired, once there’s a queue of people wanting to get on board. Public transport networks need to anticipate demand, not follow it.”

    1. Yes he made a lot of good comments, like the paragraph starting:

      “The first is that public transport benefits far more people than just those who use it. For instance, if you commute by car, think how much longer that would take if all those people on buses, trains and ferries were also using cars…”

      Each time I take the bus gives me that feeling that my choice is benefiting everyone. I’m not contributing to congestion, adding to danger or air pollution, and I’m helping to fund the system we need.

  7. National’s plan is actually pretty great. I don’t see how the supposed “inexperience” of the shaddow cabinet matters – Ardern had zero experience in government and she’s PM!

    But it seems to strike a really good and practical balance of roads, taxes, public transport and debt. LR to the airport was always a dog. Busways are a practical, sensible measure that have proved extremely effective. Skypath is a ridiculously expensive beast that is such an over the top vanity project that it should rightly be scrapped. And from history, National has actually delivered on projects – Labour, at least under Ardern, has not.

    I’m genuinely surprised by Collins’ announcement. In a good way, which I never thought would happen with her at the helm. I think I need a cup of tea on this one. Stunned!

      1. As Judith Collins said about the CRL, it should have happened years ago and will be vital infrastructure. Skypath is exactly the same, it should have happened in 1959 or 1968 but it didn’t. It needs to go ahead now.

        1. “Skypath should go ahead in some form or another but not if it’s going to cost $360m”

          Skypath doesn’t cost that money. A cycleway going across the bridge, along the harbour, then next to the motorway all the way to constellation, yep, that’s more costly. We usually only spend that kind of money on a new motorway interchange or two, so how come we spend it on bikes, it’s a disgrace [Sarcasm off again/]

    1. Planning to exacerbate climate change and local ecological damage with all these new roads is irresponsible. Not practical, not good, not effective. And not fair to future generations.

    2. National are not planning on building anything. Judith Collin’s job is to save the furniture by losing the election but not as badly as everyone is expecting them to lose. It will be a win to her personally to get in the high 30’s which will keep some of the Nats off the dole queue.
      Her strategy is to promise to spend billions of your own money on you without any care for value, fess up to past mistakes if that helps, try and look reasonable and knock the Government anytime they make a mistake.
      If she does it really well she will keep her job as leader of the opposition.

      1. So this is just ideological now. I’m taking things at face value rather than pretending to be a political expert with all sorts of unfounded insight into the machinations of party machines, or some hellbent doomsdayer almost wiling on environmental armageddon.

        I don’t care which side is promising it. I just look at the promise. And I’m liking what I see. Roads – deal with it. We need them, we need better ones and the ones suggested make sense. Vanity projects – begone!

        Competence ranks here too. Steven Joyce delivered a magnificent new motorway, with more capacity and in less time and under budget. Clark electrified our train lines (well, her policy, Key ensured it happened). Collins has picked up some of Len Brown’s proposals. Side of politics? Don’t care. Ideas are all that matter. And I like these ones.

        1. And the Nats wrote the Transmission Gully contract that has proved to be an incredibly expensive ongoing shambles.
          A Kapiti expressway and approach roads, that whilst they may have been built on time and to budget, shody construction has immediatly incured substantial and ongoing rebuilding expenses and transport delays.
          The current “policy” exercise seems to be much more about resecuring transport industry donor income then sustainably meeting transport and climate change needs.
          It all smacks of yesterday’s solutions being recycled.
          An appeal to younger voters, please participate in this election, most of you will be living in it a lot longer then those vying to make decisions on your behalf.

        2. Chris, why exactly do we need wider roads? Where is your analysis?
          If the Chief Economist of Westpac says that the world needs to dramatically decrease consumption, is that likely to mean more cars or less?
          Why shouldn’t we be focusing on trains like much of Europe is?
          And shouldn’t the environment play some part in this? Although I am a boomer the carbon trajectory that the world is on will probably mean my last years are problematic in terms of quality of life- my kids, well they already think that they are stuffed.

        3. Chris, competence is important.

          I note that the spokesman for National for the “Covid 19 border response” is the same guy who couldn’t even ensure that just one door was secure at Auckland airport. Someone’s taking the urine.

        4. Is that the “magnificent new motorway” that is falling apart and requires tens of millions of dollars in repairs (Waikato Expressway and Kapiti Expressway) or the one that has already blown the budget and still isn’t open yet (Transmission Gully)? And “in less time” compared to what?

          The rural highway upgrades suggested don’t make sense. They simply don’t carry enough traffic to justify 4 lanes (possibly with the exception of Cambridge to Piarere). Some of them need safety improvements but these can be delivered an order of magnitude cheaper with median barriers, minor realignments and more passing lanes. Widening to 4 lanes would have benefit cost ratios of <1 even before you suggest spending many billions of dollars on tunneling.

          NZTA has recently investigated options for a tunnel under the Waitemata Harbour. They found that a road tunnel would increase congestion in the city centre and increase journey times. A PT tunnel makes sense (and will be required eventually to increase capacity of the Northern Busway) but a road tunnel does not.

          National is suggesting implementing congestion charging and this is definitely a good suggestion for Auckland (and probably Wellington). It is the only tool that has been demonstrated to mitigate congestion, building more roads does not.

          I agree that we don't need vanity projects but you seem to have missed that all of these suggested new roads are vanity projects.

        5. @taka-ite I don’t know about you, I own an electric car, my electric car will also need roads to run on. A lot of the people I know and work with either own or will buy an electric car next time they buy a new car. Cars aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, what is changing is the fuel they will use.

          Norway has the highest percentage of BEV’s in the world, they now sell more BEV’s than petroleum fueled vehicles, they haven’t stopped building new roads and improving existing roads, in the period from 2018 to 2028 they will spend nearly $180b NZD on new roads, about 6 times the amount National has just announced.

        6. SH20 for the magnificent new road. No idea about Transmission Gully. But on SH20 Joyce stepped in and overruled the bureaucrats, widened the tunnels and delivered under budget.

          The painstaking CBA analysis undertaken on here is the refuge of the timid. And is so easily tweaked for personal ideology (assumptions baby!) that hey are rendered pretty meaningless. Just imagine if CBAs had been applied back when airports first came around. No one imagined how critical and incredible air travel would become to our economy and way of life.

          Look past your party affiliations and your ideological preferences. I have. And I like what I’m seeing.

    3. I struggle to see how building another harbour crossing without any allowance for widening the motorway on either side could be considered great or congestion busting. It’s just spending $5 billion to move a problem along the road a bit.

      It almost strikes an unbelievable balance between roads, taxes and debt. I can’t see how they’re planning on undertaking the biggest ever set of transport projects without increasing taxes, something must be going to be cut.

      1. In the last National govt hospitals suffered with Dunedin and Middlemore being a disgrace.

        Maybe we might go back to that golden era for NZ – the 90’s – when hard working kiwis weren’t financially constrained by those who sat at home on the couch. Ah, but that was Ruth Richardson. The current National party doesn’t have someone so ungenerous of spirit do they?

  8. A telling omission from today’s announcement by National, no East-West link. That must be well dead and buried now.

      1. This list really reads like a list of every major transport project ever suggested for the upper North Island, with the exception of light rail. That suggests to me that no critical thinking has been applied here: They’ve just lumped everything together and said they’ll fund all of it (eventually, if you keep them in power into the 2030s).

  9. I am at a loss here. National has stepped up to the plate and are for the first time presenting a credible proposal for Aucklands transport woes. A proposal that sees some great ideas and sees quite a lot of what this site have pushed for included.
    yet a few persons only see the negative. I take it party politics matters more than proposals.
    Being partisan and not being willing to take on board solutions that makes Auckland work if they come from another source than ones own.
    For me, this is the best we have seen from National for as long as I can remember.

    I like most of the suggestions. 3rd and 4th main at same time, NW busway, rail to the airport. Now I would prefer if a rail line to Onehunga goes through Mangere since its a blackhole in public transport and its unclear if it does here. But a rail line connecting to Puinuhi and to Onehunga is a novel idea and if the finaces stack up go for it.

    What I don’t like is the timeline.
    Most of what I like, for example the NW rapid transport is pushed way to far forward. However, its not like Labour have been shining on its flagship policies this term. My favourite projects were mostly Twyforded (and thats not positive).

    I am very keen to see what Winston, Labour and the greens will offer.
    How they will step up to the plate now and present their vision.
    This is what we need, parties that attempt to better each others to improve the diabolical transport infrastructure that we see in Auckland. We are likely to get plenty of good suggestions and hopefully we take the best from each party.
    For example Nationals suggestion that we build 3rd and 4th main in one go, it makes total sense and I hope that all other patries can put it in their proposals too etc etc.

    I want skypath, but seriously its expensive. Isn’t there a way to actually build that cheaper?
    if they build it, its vital that they also build the connections to it as we have seen in the consultation.

    1. @Exile I agree with you 100%, it’s humorous watching certain people squirm.

      For the rail from Onehunga to the Airport and on to Puhinui it would have to go through Mangere, I can’t see how there would be any alternative other than that route, it is Len Browns plan.

    2. Extending the electrification and commuter services from Pukekohe to Pokeno (and I assume Tuakau) is also an unexpected great idea. Whoever builds the Papakura to Pukekohe electrification will probably just carry on south, and with the extended pipeline of work, also be able to do it for a cheaper overall price.
      When the 3rd/4th main built is built, some express services will be possible. It’ll be interesting to see how long the commute from Pokeno to the CBD would take, probably longer than 1/2 an hour but its also probably not what the average commute would be.
      Similarly the extension of commmuter rail to Huapai.

    3. Ah no. It’s all a desperate election bribe, National are desperate to pick up support after Bridges (predictably) didn’t measure up and Muller stepped-down. I don’t expect Chris Bishop to deliver anything except the 4 lanes of dual carriageway to Whangarei & Tauranga.

      1. How is all this any different from Jacinda’s 2017 election bribes, kiwibuild, billions of trees, light rail in Auckland, voters lapped that up, it was all a lie.

      2. Perhaps you could tell us what’s happened to the 27325 KiwiBuild houses that Labour should have built by now to meet their election promise?

        1. “I am at a loss here. National has stepped up to the plate and are for the first time presenting a credible proposal for Aucklands transport woes.”

          Proposing spending gazillions on the same type of climate-destroying dead-end solutions that brought us the current crisis (in transport *and* in climate) is not “credible”. It isn’t even funded, unless you argue that they will be elected on a plan they themselves wouldn’t fund (or be able to fund) unless they were in power for the next 5 terms or so.

          Rubbish, and dangerous rubbish, because it shows their flag, and it’s stained black with crude oil.

  10. It doesn’t matter what Labour etc promise. Anyone with 1/2 a brain will know that they are incapable of delivering anything except greater lines at the welfare office and the ensuing multigenerational misery.

    1. Sometimes non-delivery is a good thing, such as the money we aren’t wasting on the East-West link or airport light rail. National seems to have fallen into a borrow and spend model with all of these grand expensive projects, when all we really need are more buses more often to more places.

      1. Are you sure you are not confusing what you want with what we need? People want & need the freedom to go where & when they want, to carry what they want, to change their mind 1/2 way there or back. It seems that it is the freedom aspect that many PT advocates struggle with mostly – but that is a theme with most freedoms (of others) they would happily curtail IMHO.

        1. I don’t know – to be honest I’m looking for freedom to travel safely all over the city using public transport rather than being forced to own and drive private vehicles. Most of the city is forced into this vehicle dependency and the policies of both parties do precious little to address this.

        2. Some of us love to have choice.
          A choice not to have to drive our own car, in demanding weather and congestion conditions.
          A choice to just exit the transport vehicle near our chosen destination and not worry about, or paying for parking.
          Some even like the choice of being able to get around without even the hassles and expenses of owning a car.
          And for some it is even more fundemental, those with sight, or limb function disabilities that are unable to drive, access to public transport gives them the mobility to participate so much more in life.

      1. Did you read the article you linked? Crushing cars wasn’t the intended end result, stopping street racing was, it appears to have worked.

        According to figures released by Collins’ office, there were 15 crashes where “racing” was a factor in 2015, compared to 70 crashes in 2001.

        Racing-related crashes peaked in 2007, when there were 116 accidents, that number declined following the introduction of the crushing law, according to Collins’ figures.

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