It’s that time of the week again, and it’s the last weekly roundup for July. We are truly over the hump of winter!
Cover image: an Auckland Sunrise, by Jordan Carter
The week in Greater Auckland
On Monday, Matt wrote about Waka Kotahi’s decision to fund the increased cost of the Ngauranga to Petone seawall-with-a-bike-lane ‘cycleway’ project.
Tuesday’s post covered the latest information about the Airport to Botany (promising) and Easter Busway (worrying) routes.
Wednesday’s post was about the exciting plans for bike lanes and safety improvements on Great North Road.
Yesterday, we shared a fun post inspired by the twitter replies to a post by Lennart Nout that asked, ‘how do we fix cars?’
Will the success of the clean car rebate lead to higher fees on polluting vehicles?
The clean car rebate scheme has been in place for more than a year now: since July 2021, people have been able to get 1000s of dollars off the price of a new EV or hybrid. The idea was that it would be funded by corresponding fees on on high-emitting vehicles.
However, the rebate has done such a good job at convincing NZers to buy electric vehicles that the fee side of it is nowhere near being able to cover the discount. Julie-Ann Genter, who designed the plan, argues that now’s the time to increase fees on high-emitting vehicles.
“If the rebates are greater than the fees, that means it has been even more effective than expected at incentivising a positive change in vehicle purchases,” she said.
Genter said that in other countries, fees had gone up on polluting cars to continue funding rebates on clean cars.
“Of course, at that point, it’s time to consider a shift to slightly higher fees, to be able to keep up the pace and level of rebates, so we continue decreasing the average emissions from the vehicles we bring into New Zealand.
Safe footpaths for everyone
An interesting article on NZ Herald highlights how much more frightening walking down the street can be for members of our disabled community, particularly when streets become construction sites. Aucklander Rhonda Comins, who is blind, was recently forced out into the road to detour around a construction site, with no way of knowing where the detour went.
AT’s spokesperson said the agency was keen to hear from anyone who experienced issues so they could escalate them through their maintenance teams.
“Safety for everyone is always our top priority.
“We will ensure we continue to work with staff and contractors to make sure they are aware of any accessibility concerns.”
What are Auckland’s mayoral candidates up to?
So far we’ve covered the transport policies of Viv Beck and Efeso Collins. We’d write about the policies the other candidates had too, if any of them had something we could take seriously. Simon Wilson’s column this week came to the same conclusion: Collins and Beck are making a lot more sense than their rivals.
Meanwhile both candidates have been promoting their transport thinking on social media this week.
Efeso Collins met with Bike Auckland to hear their thoughts about real transport choice.
Great to catch up with Tony Mitchell and Gabriel Gaeta from @BikeAKL to talk about safer cycling in the city, and how to get balance and real choice in the modes of transport on offer to people in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland pic.twitter.com/fjvK0WPCb6
— Efeso Collins (@efesocollins) July 24, 2022
While Beck voiced her support of delaying the parking strategy until after the election, which came up in an interview with Cr Chris Darby on RNZ this week: accused of delaying the strategy so it doesn’t become an election issue, Darby countered that the delay had in fact been caused by Auckland Transport.
Delaying the parking strategy till after the council election is important. With public feedback showing strong opposition, Auckland Transport must take a more balanced approach and listen more in every aspect of its work. https://t.co/0aoOmONDmH
— Viv Beck For Mayor (@VivBeckForMayor) July 25, 2022
And on the chance either of our candidates (or their campaign team) read Greater Auckland’s Weekly Roundup, we’ve got a pātai: the C40 Mayor’s summit is happening in Buenos Aires this October. Will you go, and represent Tāmaki Makaurau? You don’t even have to fly to South America to attend!
The C40 World Mayors Summit is our triennial climate action conference organised in partnership with a C40 member city. This year’s Summit, hosted by the City of Buenos Aires from 19–21 October 2022, will be a hybrid in-person and virtual event.
The evolution of Aotea Station
A view you don’t get from the street: here’s an aerial timelapse of the changing shape of CRL’s Aotea Station.
Safer speeds are saving lives
Despite routinely facing community opposition when proposed, the evidence is clear that Waka Kotahi’s programme of speed reductions is saving lives.
On the Appleby Highway near Richmond, no one has died since speed limits were lowered in 2018 – while eight people were killed in the two years before that. A fatal crash on the Napier-Taupō highway this month was the first in 21 months, and the first since that road’s speed limit was lowered five months ago.
These numbers align with international evidence of the effects of lowering speeds, and we even have our own historical example:
The 1973 oil crisis forced the government to cut open road speeds from 55 miles per hour (88km/h) to 50 miles per hour (80km/h) and road deaths fell.
But in 1985, speed limits rose to 100km/h and Cliff said that had the opposite effect.
“Major increase in the number of people killed and seriously injured on New Zealand roads. So New Zealand provided a very graphic example of what can be achieved through speed limit reduction and equally, all the negative consequences by increasing speed limits.”
Speak up for density in Tāmaki this Sunday
This Sunday, July 31st, MPs are meeting the public at St Matthews In the City to talk about the NPS-UD. The Coalition for More Homes is urging people to turn out in support of new medium density rules – show up and drown out the NIMBYs!
Checking in on Paneke Pōneke (safe cycling in Wellington)
Another cycleway goes to court
A redesign of Thorndon Quay that provides safe bike lanes is in limbo after a collection of businesses brought a legal challenge against Council. This is an entirely different legal challenge to the one facing the Newtown to City cycleway, but the grounds of the challenge are similar.
Counsel for the collective, Robert Kirkness, argued statutory requirements under the Local Government Act had not been met by the council. The authority’s ability to make an informed decision had been adversely impacted by a council officer’s decision not to present all reasonable alternatives to the Planning and Environment Committee during briefings.
Council, however, argues that they followed correct processes, and the judge will make a decision in several weeks’ time.
A flock of bike corrals to be installed around the city
In a small but important victory for road reallocation, 11 carparks are going to be turned into bike parking corrals. Wellington City Council street transformation manager Paul Barker is in charge of the project.
“What we’ve heard from the community is to stop providing parking on the footpath,” Barker said. “[With bike stands] we can get 12 people using that space, rather than one car.”
They could also remove a couple of the stands and mark out space for escooter parking, he said.
The week in flooding
How long have we been talking about flooding in Weekly Roundup? It started as a bit of a dark joke, but it’s become something we talk about at Greater Auckland all the time. Floods are very much a sign of our changing times – and those images of cars floating away down rivers of floodwater seem deeply symbolic of where we’re at now.
Christchurch had a month of rain in 24 hours, leaving inches of water covering low-lying suburbs and slips on several roads.
Dunedin spent the weekend on edge as heavy rain moved south towards them, and the Leith rose closer to its banks. 35 homes on the Leith’s banks had to be evacuated.
While we’ve had record breaking winter rain in July, records are being broken for summer rain in the Northern Hemisphere too. In St Louis, Missouri, conditions went from drought to flash flood in days, when an all-time record amount of rain dumped more than nine inches on the city in one night.
Making the link between extreme weather and the climate
We’ve noticed that media is much more willing to talk about the links between extreme weather events and the climate emergency. It’s a welcome change, one that climate activists have been calling for for years. In this clip, Dr Rod Carr from the Climate Change commission tells Newshub that it’s time to take urgent action to reduce our emissions.
With extreme weather events becoming commonplace, do we need to reduce our emissions much sooner? Simon Shepherd spoke with Climate Change Commission Rod Carr and asked him if the Government's Emissions Reduction Plan is already out of date #NationNZ pic.twitter.com/Kmml9DQ3O7
— Newshub Nation (@NewshubNationNZ) July 22, 2022
Talking, thinking and acting about climate change
We liked this article on the New York Times about how to talk to the people you love about climate change. It suggests that rather than using fear to bully people into taking climate action, we should instead be setting the politics aside and offering up images of a better future.
“The ultimate outcome of fear is to paralyze us, which leads to the preservation of the status quo,” according to Dr. Hayhoe. “We feel completely disenfranchised, powerless, without any sense of agency or efficacy. That’s what turns worry into anxiety and depression, which we see happening today. It’s because we don’t know what to do.”
Over on the Spinoff, this week’s installment of their new climate-focused newsletter Future Proof offers similar insights about the psychology of sustainability. Ellen Rykers talks to psychologist Nikki Harré about the importance of turning to positive emotions in our efforts to combat climate change.
Harré invites us to experiment with emotion: “Think about whatever scares you most about climate change, and you can actually feel a sort of an inward turn, that closing down, and that sense of desperation that something needs to be done urgently. Whereas with positive emotions, you can feel that sense of possibility, wanting to join with others, a kind of sense that there are multiple ways to deal with this.”
Both organisational change and individual change are important here, Harré argues: call it the ‘yes, and’ approach to climate action.
The headline-grabbing approach to climate action
Groups like Extinction Rebellion get their share of controversial press, but you’ve got to admit that they’re good at getting attention. In the same vein, the tyre extinguishers movement is generating both ire and approval. A journalist at The Guardian spent a night with one of these activist groups letting down the tyres of SUVs on New York City’s Upper East Side.
While many US cities lack decent public transport options, “it does not follow logically that we should flood our streets with dangerous, oversized, glacier-melting SUVs when smaller and more efficient vehicles that could easily satisfy most motorists’ needs exist,” according to Doug Gordon, co-host of the popular The War on Cars podcast and an avid New York cyclist. “If the Tyre Extinguishers spark a conversation about the absurdity of driving a 6,000lb Cadillac Escalade to pick up a 60lb kid from soccer practice, then good for them.”
It’s time to deflate Big Oil’s profits
Our hearts have sunk as the ‘record profits for x oil company’ headlines have appeared in our newsfeed. How is it that global inflation and cost of living crises have created yet more excess profits for the world’s most polluting industry? Sounds like it’s to do with extreme pressure on refining capacity – but the industry’s profits are forecasted to slow later this year.
Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., Shell Plc, TotalEnergies SE and BP Plc — collectively known as the supermajors — are set to make even more money than they did in 2008, when international oil prices jumped as high as $147 a barrel.
Is this the best transit system in the USA?
Well, it’s obviously not Manhattan, but Disney World’s bus system is probably one of the standouts in a notoriously car-dependent country.
What does it say about the state of Central Florida's transit that Disney World's bus system has 20,000 more riders than the entire Orlando metro has? Additionally, Disney World's buses are the 25th largest bus system in the country, larger than San Jose, Milwaukee or Clevelands. pic.twitter.com/ifC6GgqxMg
— Hayden Clarkin (@the_transit_guy) July 25, 2022
More people on public transport means more lives saved
In places where public transport ridership is high, traffic fatalities are low.
via @UITPnews pic.twitter.com/CPt2paAQIl
— Daniel Moser (@_dmoser) July 23, 2022
Diving into the high cost of rail construction in America
Hosted on Noah Smith’s blog, Eric Goldwyn asks why America seems to find it so hard to build cheap, efficient passenger rail – when so many other developed nations are able to do so at a fraction of the cost. Relevant to certain rail projects here in Aotearoa, too.
The magic of wetlands
Link this back to the images of sodden streets in the ‘week in flooding’ section above: what could wetlands and green water infrastructure offer our cities?
Clip from 'Sinking Cities London' 2018, featuring @FirsFarm #SuDS, built by @EnfieldSuDS & @Thames21, that provides #flood defence, #wetland #wildlife habitats that filter #water, a haven for visitors, an outdoor classroom for kids & unites the #Enfield community. @EnfieldCouncil pic.twitter.com/6nLBSI4BjN
— Wetlands Steve (@Walthamsteve) July 24, 2022
And on Stuff, this science writer waxes lyrical about a new book on wetlands, bogs and swamps, Life in the Shallows,
As authors Karen Denyer and Monica Peters explain, our wetlands sequester much more carbon than forests, and we have, rather unfortunately, destroyed 90 per cent of them. While healthy bogs are net carbon sinks, drained peatlands are a carbon source. As the earth heats up, drying peatlands release lots of carbon.
Homeground’s rooftop garden
Homeground, the Auckland City Mission’s new base, is a wonderful addition to the city centre – and we like the look of its rooftop garden too. More like this!
Roof Top Gardens Even Better (than roof top bars) Why not both!
Check out what's up top at Homeground. This should be required on all apartment bldgs.
Fun, Climate, sustainability, fresh food, community. pic.twitter.com/Y9rEdZHRcP
— AK CC ResidentsGroup (@CityAklccrg) July 25, 2022
The essential sign of a successful low traffic neighbourhood
We talk about ‘indicator species’ here: families, small children, and older people are all signs that a place, footpath or bike lane has been designed well enough for everyone to feel safe. And when the streets work for them, everything changes.
Low traffic neighbourhood living. It’s hard to really capture but now every time you leave the house, you see adults cycling with kids. To school. To clubs. Back home. Game changer @clairekholland pic.twitter.com/6Hymtmd4R0
— citymobility (@citycyclists) July 23, 2022
Book recommendation: Tokyo urbanism
Ordering this right now. A new book explores the unique charm of Tokyo’s disordered, bottom-up kind of urbanism. Emergent Tokyo: Designing the Spontaneous City describes the paradoxes that have created Tokyo’s urban form, a mix of massive central planning effort and countless small-scale decisions that echo complex systems seen in the natural world.
The general definition [of emergence] is the creation of order and functionality from the bottom up. So certain orders or functionalities can happen without the need for a central brain that organizes everything. It’s based on the idea that systems and phenomena, through local interactions of their parts, can create orders. The classic example would be the flocking behavior of birds, in which you can see clearly the formations but there is no bird leading it.
The week in happy cyclists on new bike lanes
Some clips from the usual suspects: two cities that have gone all in on bike infrastructure in the last couple of years.
I'm afraid enthusiasm got the better of me on the newly opened family cycle lane in west London. It's just so … safe. Sorry about the singing. @FifteenMph @borrobbor @loled1967 @KCairns1 @katefrayling @HounslowCycling @_Dermatologist @xandvt @willnorman @LBofHounslow @mzdt pic.twitter.com/zwxslPV0Bs
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) July 27, 2022
…and of course, Paris.
Even in the not-pretty parts of Paris, the bike lanes are covet-able.
En prenant la piste allant du Pont du Garigliano vers Issy-les-Moulineaux, on passe en quelques secondes d’une pente amenant à 40 à un terre-plein où il faut s’arrêter avant la file de ceux qui attendent au feu rouge. Quand il y aura beaucoup de monde, attention les freins ! pic.twitter.com/FvQOagP0wC
— Emmanuel (@EmmanuelSPV) July 25, 2022
Ka kite! Have a great weekend!
Honestly, the open road speed should return to 80km/h everywhere (for both safety and climate reasons), with 100km/h saved just for motorways and perhaps parts of SH1. So much of the State Highway network is just unsuitable for 100km/h, even with “modern, safe” cars.
Na. We’re good.
We are not tho. A person is killed almost every day on the roads, this need to change. The sooner the powers that be actually grow a back bone and implement sane road speeds, the better.
The sooner the powers that be improve the quality of the roads the better. Road quality has deteriorated significantly in the last few years.
That is more reason for lower speeds. It will also reduce the need for repairs as the roads are under less forces. Very important as cars get heavier.
Sure. The net impact of more heavy Ecars is more road stress. This incidental to heavier needing lower road, speeds for safety.
We are unfortunately quite sloppy with distinguishing the 100km/h speed limit signs and the Speed Limit Derestriction sign.
Although nominally they both indicate a 100km/h speed limit, they have very different meanings. The first means someone actually thought about this and decided 100 km/h is reasonably safe. The other means you enter an area where this didn’t happen so you must not assume 100 km/h is a safe speed.
State highways should have signposted speed limits. It would be a good idea on some side roads to signpost a short stretch at a lower limit before reaching a derestriction sign to at least set expectations.
Agree. It’s all well and good to say “do what you like” when it’s the 80s, engine power, acceleration rates, and traffic volumes are low. But up those metrics and give out a sense of entitlement to do the speed limit at all times, the limits need to be far more prescriptive.
“A fatal crash on the Napier-Taupō highway this month was the first in the 21 months since that road’s speed limit was lowered”
The limit was lowered in February of this year – don’t know quite how you have got 21 months 🙂
Not sure how much of a real impact it is having. Policing seems to be mainly at either end of the section with the lower limits, not on the windy, hilly bits in the middle where the danger lies.
Yes, indeed the Napier-Taupo speed limit has only recently been lowered, which puts a very different spin on the numbers – eg in the 2 years previous to the lowering there were zero fatalities, but since the lowering of the limit there has now been fatalities again. The truth is that the central wiggly bit of the road naturally limits the speed capable anyhow – my old Austin 1100 was reduced to 50kph top speed on some segments especially round the Mohaka River – but also the straight line parts at each end are easily capable of far higher than 100kph (most people would be cruising at over 120kph on the Rangitaiki plains, to be honest).
The truth about the Napier Taupo highway is that the main danger to all road users is the antics of the Kenworths hauling trailers full of logs, who are terrifying to meet on a bend, as they have a schedule to meet of multiple trips each way each day. If only their logs could be taken by train, the road would be much safer all round.
Bring back the proposal to connect Tāupo with the railway system.
I’d gladly take a train to Taupo, rail to Rotorua or a carriage to Cambridge.
Thanks for reminding me, George.
Just how is Labour going with their promise of introducing regional rail?
Wasn’t their supposed to be a passenger rail service to Tauranga?
I thought Te Huia was the first stage of, eventually, rail to Tauranga.
So, so far, so good?
Where exactly was or will be the station in Tauranga?
Love to see a kinleith to taupo extension, then on to wairoa on the PNGL. Need another route auck to wgtn as NIMT gets closed too much and that would do it
MRB , Under KR’s previous CEO there was talk of upgrading the SOL , but like most things it’s most likely been put on the back burner or buried in the bottom of a filing cabinet i a basement somewhere .
Yeah. I think that was just his little project. Nice to dream though.
Peter Reidy is back now as ceo and he was always well respected.
Doing that highway with some ute 10 metres from your rear bumper is one of those essential NZ road trip experiences.
I used to speed on the windy bits (where possible) as the cops didn’t bother policing that far away from the city. Now the speed limit is lower I don’t as it would be too expensive if I did get caught. So it may save my life!
The twisties are the best but. The goal is double the speed advisory sign on each corner. The most fun with ya pants on.
Better by train. Trains in general rigorously observe their speed limits.
Now I was just thinking about that long-dormant proposal for a Napier-Taupo rail link. . .
Would be great. NPR and Gisborne would be 5 or6 hours from ports of TGA which would be a game changer for them. Rather than trundling all the way down to PNTH first
Thanks for spotting that – we’ve updated the text.
The feebate article is a beat-up. The imbalance over the first three months is small, most of which was a period in which a lot of highly polluting vehicles were pre-registered to avoid the fee. In addition, car sellers have to meet the CO2 targets regardless, and the CO2 thresholds ratchet down every year anyway.
The whole scheme is a gigantic win. The challenge is to replicate it in other areas of transport.
Why stop at transport?
My idea (having brought a new built townhouse last year) would be to do the same for housing
If you install reticulated gas then you pay a modest fee, which can be used to provide a rebate for PV installation. Or extra consent fee on a houses over 200 sqm (scaled to ping houses 300/400sqm), that can be used for rebates on capturing/reusing storm water etc
No worries, Ford is holding orders for over 5000 Rangers.
So they pale in comparison to EV/Hybrid and e-bike sales? Interesting.
Hard to see how the whole scheme is a gigantic win. The scheme was supposed to be self funding and it is down the flusher by $100 million. That’s 100M that won’t be spent on bike infrastructure, public transport or KiwiRail.
The scheme produced the largest sales of new cars in NZs history, most of which were ICE vehicles, and the largest component of these, the most emitting ones. Most of these vehicles will be around until 2042, the time that we should be approaching zero emissions.
I suspect that only the most passionate have bought EVs given that on brands like the Hyundai Kona there is about a $20k price difference.
It’s hard to avoid the suspicion that much of the subsidy has ended up in the dealers pocket because car prices have been maintained. (How are we progressing towards EVs and ICE cars costing the same by 2025?
EVs comprise less than 1% of the fleet.
This scheme might be successful if the government systematically and significantly increases the tax on new ICE cars every year, just like Norway has done. The 10% of kiwis who are able to afford new cars will be aggrieved, but the rest of us will move on to a more sustainable future.
I like Thordon Quay, it was a good attempt to give existing buildings a new life and allowed the type of trade/retail activities that usually get forced out to industrial areas with vast parking lots to stay in the centre. Problem is Councils never step up and act like a centre manager on behalf of the shops in the way a private landlord would. Instead of supporting the businesses with parking management and marketing the Councils only see road space they can dedicate to whatever mode is currently fashionable. In the 70s it was extra traffic lanes, in the 90s bus lanes, now it’s cycle lanes. Different mode, same shit.
Roads are in the public domain and their function should be to facilitate the safe movement of all modes of travel. I don’t understand why some businesses think that they own the road outside of their property.
It’s ridiculous how just a couple of businesses can block improvements to a thoroughfare that connects tens of thousands of people to the city. If the businesses need abundant car parking right outside in order to do business, perhaps they should have bought a property that has car parking on site.
Maybe their function is to use their roads exclusively to provide for through movement. But if that is the case you have to accept their is no place for traditional strip shopping. Centres will all need to be built off-line and streets will only ever have a few convenience stores serving a passing trade (who are not driving). All destination retail will end up in malls and industrial parks.
Miffy, go to any mediums-sized town in a typical densely-populated country and there is seriously no way that all shoppers could park their cars in a typical shopping street. They have to park in offline car-parks (generally paying for the privilege), then ambulate themselves around the shops. Of course the best high-streets are those which have banned cars altogether. If strip-shopping dies it will be because of online shopping, not because you can’t park outside every doorway.
The council is the centre manager. One of their jobs is in fact to manage the streets between buildings.
Have you ever seen a shopping centre manager get rid of all of their parking and turn the space over exclusively to people passing through?
Yes, that is exactly what happens at every single enclosed mall. You park at a centralised location then walk to your shop.
Maybe that is the opposite thing, they provide parking for people stopping there. St Lukes are never going to close their parking area and build a bike lane for people to pass right through on their way somewhere else.
Every centre needs management. Councils have done that role at traditional centres. If they make their centres no longer viable for destination shopping then all you will get is a dairy, a bottle store and a vape shop. Then everyone will need to drive even further to go shopping.
miffy have you actually been to a mall? You will not be allowed to drive and park in front of the shops. Never. It is always going to be a parking lot or parking garage close to the shops, but not right outside the shops.
If you translate this principle to a city street, it means that on-street parking between the shops is not essential.
Malls are never going to do that because they have already removed all of the shop front parking. They are decades ahead of councils in that regard and councils should hurry to catch up.
That video of CS9 is great – “this is so great”. Love the ending too with the grumpy wife… first time I’ve ever laughed out loud at a transport video…
One of the top stories on stuff yesterday was ‘Wealthy Aucklanders halt townhouses ‘not in keeping’ with their front yards’
“Residents in a wealthy Auckland suburb have stopped a development of 17 townhouses after arguing it would not be in keeping with the area’s well-kept front yards.
The development in Glendowie attracted more than 200 submissions from neighbours when it was publicly notified by Auckland Council, with submitters claiming it would bring “young kids and cars” to the neighbourhood…
However, hearing commissioners agreed with residents the “smaller trees” and pavers proposed for the development’s front yard would not “sufficiently maintain the landscaped character of the street”.”
The line that Tuesday covered the “Easter” Busway looks interesting. Would have thought been a public holiday
Last weekend there was a celebration of the Pukekohue Shuttle which will have it’s last day on the 12th August . AOR , AT and Kr set up a stand on Platform 3 , with what will happen before it reopens , face painting for the kids and a steam engine mockup for the small and big kids to ride on .
They also were running 4 car DMU units to and from Papakura and the ones I used Sunday afternoon were packed , ;-
Is there a way to give these trains to Christchurch? Perfect head start on kickstarting a commuter network, with free DMUs. The ones that saved Aucklands rail no less, pulling one last service. Hilllside engineering is just down the tracks. This must be better than sending them overseas for a pittance?
Jak , you are not the only one that have suggested that and others on AT FB page have also mention Dunedin , Hamilton or restarting them out west to Huapai and Helensville .
Reusing old DMUs for a Swanson/Henderson-to-Huapai/Kumeu shuttle is an old chestnut of online transport discussion.
– The railway line already exists
– Trains, while old, will be available soon
– SH16 is congested and horrid most of the time
– Significant, congestion-free public transport will be many years away
– Hundreds of new houses in the area; hundreds more planned
– Safety concerns regarding evacuation from Waitakere Tunnel
– Railway line is indirect, taking two sides of a triangle to reach Swanson
– Will KiwiRail allow its train paths to be used by passenger trains?
My personal view is that AT should try it out. The operational/safety concerns aren’t insurmountable; there is always a way round. The latent demand must be considerable; not just for “the commuter” but for everyone else who wants to travel for any other reason, at any time of the day or week.
A simply diesel shuttle, with single-sided platforms would be a good way to test the feasibility of the service and work out demand patterns, operations and so on. Doing so would also show that AT was committed to continuous improvements of the passenger rail system.
As far as I know there are absolutely no plans to make this happen.
George , the safety concerns in my opinion are less than what would happen if there was a incident on the trans Alpine with Engines either end and 18 minutes to get through the Otira Tunnel , then why haven’t KR stopped that service .
Here in NZ we have had trains going through tunnels for years and soon as was happened at Pike River the OSH handbook was rewritten and every one seemed to get a bee in their bonnet telling everyone it’s unsafe to go through that Tunnel .
Hi david L, I absolutely agree that the safety concerns for a short, recently refurbished tunnel are overblown. I was just citing the reasons that people tend to give for or against this proposal.
I’d be up for a service as far as Waimauku; it’s a decent-sized town and could be a bus hub for services to Muriwai and Helensville.
George , Last Helensville AMP tried to do a train from Swanson with the GVR then a few days before Kr canned it , not sure weather it was because of track works between Papakura and Pukekohue or they didn’t want a Passenger x2 train to run North to Helensville .
And also they have the Hot Springs up that way and with a service going people would enjoy going there , as the ones at Waiweria are shot .
David. There is a big difference under the law between existing services, and starting up a new service when it comes to tunnels. There is a carve out in the post pike river legislation for all the existing PT services using tunnels. But new ones have to comply with new rules. At least this is what I was reading somewhere. Take it with a grain of salt.
And this was Pukekohue on the same day with the crowd going on the GVR excursion to Mission Bush and Back ;-
While the “media” have got much better at linking extreme weather events to climate change,bit hard to ignore when they are inextricably connected,we (they) need to move onto less ,obvious links. Most people don’t want to relate the way they live with climate change, but it has got to be brought forward into the public consciousness.
There was a great opportunity to link the cancelled flights,ferry crossings,caused by extreme weather (climate change),but wasn’t put forward,until it is ,people struggle to understand the two are linked.
Great video on the recent history of liberalisation of rail in Europe leading to lower prices and more passengers:
This country needs a couple of very large tanks of just in case diesel so in the event of a Goe political meltdown we can keep things running. We don’t need petrol people can walk or catch a bus but it would be nice to know we can keep trucks delivering to supermarkets and the Cook straight ferries running if oil stops flowing. Keeping the electricity grid operating would be desirable. A plan on how it would managed would be useful so that in the event of the unspeakable we are not just trying to make things up as we go along.
There is slow but steady progress on the third main project. A lot of truck movements as topsoil is being stripped away and replaced with new aggregate. Their going quite deep down into the clay layer. They haven’t told us if they are running to budget but from what I can see it’s well engineered with concrete walls appearing at various points along the way which presumably need reinforcing. No sign of any new platforms. According to a sign displayed on one of the gates it won’t be finished till 2024. However one project that is very close to completion is the active modes bridge across the Harbour at Mangere Bridge. Meant to finish mid 2022. So August would probably just qualify.
And here is another from the works on the CRL but from the other end ;-
Great to see that new cycle infrastructure in London & Paris.