Sunday reading 2 April 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. This week, we’re starting to get evidence of what will happen as a result of the Roads of National Significance: induced traffic and congestion stuff-ups. Here’s Damian George (Stuff) reporting on outcomes after the opening of the first sections of the Kapiti Expressway: The $630 million Kapiti expressway has actually doubled the amount of time it takes to commute into Wellington during the morning rush, some motorists say.…
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Tauranga’s Ghost Motorway

Over the weekend I took a trip down to Paengaroa (about 30km east of Tauranga) to visit some family. After travelling through Tauranga, the fastest option for getting there is via only the second of the government’s Roads of National Significance to have been fully completed, the Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL) – the first was the Victoria Park tunnel.…
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RoNS 2.0?

The government’s Roads of National Significance have dominated transport spending over the last eight years and within the next 4-5 years, almost all of the motorways originally proposed will have been completed. Yet despite this, current plans are for transport spending on state highways is set to continue to increase over the coming years – NZTA are currently forecast to spend $1.9 billion on state highways this financial year, based on MoT projections, by 2024-25 this it is likely to be close to $2.9 billion a year.…
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The hypocrisy of the GPS

If there’s one thing – more than anything else – that annoys me about the government’s approach to transport, it’s the double standard they apply between state highway projects (particularly RoNS projects) and public transport investment. Getting any public transport funding requires analysis after analysis, proof that the timing of the project is optimal, proof that it’s definitely the most viable and cost-effective option, links with triggers around the level of use or growth in the area the project is located – the list goes on.…
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Transport’s not a left/right political issue

As I discussed yesterday the debate on big urban issues of housing and transport far too frequently descends into left/right debates and today I’m looking at transport. One of the reasons this has come up is that we’ve had some interesting conversations on Twitter in the last few days with a couple of Nationals MPs, which apart from highlighting a scary lack of understanding about transport, inevitably touched on the issue about whether the transport policy that we generally advocate on this blog fits into the traditional “left-right” political spectrum.…
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2013: A year in review – Part 2

In Part 2 of my 2013 year in review I’m going to look at transport other than PT so that includes walking/cycling and roads. Walking/Cycling 2013 has been a bit of a mix when it comes to active modes. There have been some good things happen however in my opinion simply not enough has been done and from what I’ve heard (but haven’t confirmed) Auckland Transport spent well less than they had in the budget for cycling which is extremely disappointing.…
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Portugal’s Ghost Roads

In the comments, “Handlebars Matt” provided a link to this video about how nobody is using Portugal’s motorway system – which was built at vast cost over the past decade:I often fear that this is the future for many of the Roads of National Significance that are either under construction or due to begin construction in the next few years.…
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Costs and Benefits of the Governments Auckland Transport Package

A couple of months ago the government finally announced that they would support the City Rail Link, albeit with a later start date than the council are pushing for. A few days later they then went on to announce a massive road building binge including upgrades/additions to the areas around the interchange of SH1 and SH18, the Southern motorway south of Manukau and SH20A to the airport.…
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3 cents a litre, y’all

3 cents doesn’t get you much these days. But when you’re talking 3 cents a litre, times 2.5 million cars, using 1,000 litres a year, it starts to add up. As of today, folks, the excise duty on petrol has been lifted by 3 cents a litre (from 50.5 cents to 53.5 cents), and that’s how much more you’ll be paying at the pump.…
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