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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My issue with the Transmission Gully PPP

Whether or not transport public-private partnerships (PPPs) are a good idea has once again reared its head in recent times – due to discussion about the Transmission Gully project near Wellington. The Transmission Gully project (which is a decidedly dodgy project regardless of how it’s funded) will cost around $1 billion to build, but because the construction will be done through a PPP the amount of money that will eventually be paid by NZTA is more like $3 billion.…
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Transmission Gully PPP discussed in Parliament

Yesterday in Parliament Julie Anne Genter asked Bill English about the PPP that is going to be used for Transmission Gully. I think the thing I am most concerned about from the answers is just how little he appears to know about the deal, something you would think he would have a good understanding of due to being the minister of finance.…
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RoNS Videos

There were some videos from the NZTA that admin posted around the beginning of the year looking at the Puhoi to Wellsford RoNS and there was also a video of the Waterview Connection that was posted last year. Looking around online it appears there are a few more for other RoNS projects that were released.…
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Top economist questions RoNS

It was heartening to open up the newspaper this morning in Wellington and read this opinion piece on the poor economics of the “Roads of National Significance” (RoNS), prepared by Dr Michael Pickford, the former chief economist at the Commerce Commission and now an independent economic researcher.…
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How to pay for these rail projects?

Somewhat unsurprisingly, many commentators have been quick to write off Len Brown’s transport vision for Auckland as impossibly expensive, ‘pie in the sky’ aspirations. Some of the criticism has come from predictable sources, like David Farrar’s Kiwiblog: Len may think he has a mandate for the rail – and he does if the ratepayers of Auckland who voted for him are willing to pay for it.…
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RoNS in Parliament

Interesting question by Green MP Gareth Hughes to Steven Joyce in parliament today about the economic justifications of the Roads of National Significance (RoNS):Good to see this kind of debate happening in parliament. I’m quite impressed by Mr Hughes. The OECD report being referred to in the questions and answers is here, and I have previously blogged about it here.…
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Transmission Gully – BCR of 0.6

So it has been confirmed: the Transmission Gully Motorway will not even come close to providing benefits that match its cost. An interesting article from the Dominion Post on it: The cost of upgrading the coastal highway north of Wellington could have ballooned to nearly $2 billion, almost twice the cost of building Transmission Gully.…
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