GOVERNMENT SETS BILLIONS FOR TRANSPORT FUNDING – CTD
Auckland Gets $3.4 Billion from the 2012-2015 National Land Transport Fund
Last night I had posted on how the government has set aside $12.3 billion for the National Land Transport Fund 2012-2015 period. In Stuff, it was revealed that Auckland would get $3.4 billion of that $12.3 billion for its land transport projects over the 2012-2015 period. That folks is around 29% of the funding yet we hold around 35% of the current national population; however granted that $690 million goes to Christchurch for the rebuild. So on revised figures (so take out Christchurch rebuild) Auckland gets wait it’s still the same – 29%. So per population basis verse dollar basis (so every 1% of population a region has it should get 1% of the NLTF pie) Auckland is missing out by 6%…
Now I am going to divide this commentary into two separate posts: the first section we will take a summary look at the article from Stuff outlining Auckland’s billions, with a second looking at what is being “considered” in the 2012-2018 National Land Transport Fund pipeline.
MICHAEL FIELD Last updated 15:19 29/08/2012
Auckland will get about $3.4billion of the $12.3b spent on transport in the next three years and the Government has stressed that $890 million of it will be spent on public transport.
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the new programme was the largest of its kind in New Zealand’s history and would fund infrastructure and services such as state highway improvements and the Government’s “roads of national significance”.
The National Land Transport Plan says that Auckland, with the highest traffic flows, the greatest proportion of freight traffic and the most severe congestion in the country, is holding back “its contribution to the country’s economic growth”.
Both are already underway.
The public transport funding will include 57 electric trains, electrification and station upgrades.
It also calls for integrated public transport ticketing, but appears to have been written before last week’s failure of the Snapper ticketing system in Auckland.
The report says in 2011 the Auckland region had 48 deaths and 350 serious injuries on its network which is high, but comparatively good against other regions when vehicle kilometres travelled are considered.
Dispute the major public works underway in east Auckland, AMETI has been little noticed.
Today’s report says it is a 30-year, $1.5 billion strategy aimed at dealing with current traffic congestion, poor transport options and projected growth in a vital retail, commercial and residential area.
It includes improved rail facilities, a larger bus transport hub, and faster and more frequent bus services.
The report also outlines plans for heavy and long vehicles.
“Allowing trucks to carry more per trip could reduce the number of trips needed to cope with increasing freight volumes.”
The plan also lists other regionally significant projects likely to be considered for funding between 2012 and 2018.
- - remove strategic route pinch points eg southern motorway Hill Rd to Takinini
- - upgrade regional arterials focusing on passenger transport and freight
- - the City Rail Link
- - Puhoi to Wellsford motorway connection planned with Puhoi to Warkworth constructed
- - additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing (investigation)
- - develop “single system” including Advanced Traffic Management Systems Stage V, signal Optimisation, ramp metering and freight priority lanes
- - further development of cycleways along state highway corridors
- - busway extension Albany to Hibiscus Coast (designation)
- - South-west airport multi-modal corridor (early stages only)
- - Southdown to Avondale rail corridor designated
- - Botany to Manukau (investigation)
- - Henderson to Albany (investigation)
- - Red light camera installation
- - Mill Road (regional arterial connection between Botany Downs and Papakura)
Most of the money set aside here is old money. Meaning it is money already committed on projects already under way or soon to be under way. And by that I mean apart pinch point between Manurewa (Hill Road) and Takanini interchanges on the Southern Motorway, nothing else in that list above is particularly solid and that includes the CRL!
Just of note, around 34% of Auckland’s share is going to Auckland’s public or non road transport. Okay we are a bit short of the 50:50 split Generation Zero and myself is looking for however the devil is in the detail. That 34% for public transport as the government puts it will be mostly old money already committed to in-part AMETI and the 57 EMU’s that are on their way here from next year. At a guess I would say no more than 5% of Auckland’s total NLTF allocation would be going into any new projects maybe apart from remedial work. I guess this from what Generation Zero has to say below:
From Generation Zero:
Why this is important
Transport in New Zealand is at a critical juncture. The Government is locking in plans to spend more than $12 billion on a few costly motorways – its “Roads of National Significance”, the most ambitious motorway building effort in at least a generation. Meanwhile, it is scrimping and under-investing in all other forms of transport.
At a time when petrol prices are hitting new record highs, traffic growth has stalled and more people would prefer to ditch their cars, and climate change is fuelling more extreme weather leading to crop failures and higher food prices, the Government’s plan is stuck in the past rather than investing in the smart, low carbon economy we need.
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has just tabled a new bill in Parliament to allow the Government to borrow more money for transport spending – this could see it pushing ahead faster to ram these projects through. It’s time to stop this madness.
Watch this awesome video summarising why we need a shift, or read on:
This is part of Generation Zero’s 50/50 campaign calling for a fair share for smart transport. Find out more at:
The spending on the “RoNS” comes at the expense of better, smarter uses for that money that would give Kiwis a transport system with more freedom of choice where alternatives to driving are easier, cheaper and safer.
Total funding available for new public transport, walking & cycling infrastructure this decade is only around $0.5 billion combined – new highways get 30 times as much as that.
The Government is not putting up any funding at all for Auckland’s City Rail Link – a vital project wanted by 2/3 of Aucklanders that would allow the number of trains in the rail network to double.
Kiwirail is starved of money and needs more Government support to invest in quality infrastructure so rail freight can get competitive with trucking. Around 300 skilled Kiwirail workers are set to lose their jobs and the company is being forced to make short-sighted investment decisions.
Even maintenance of our existing road network is being neglected! The maintenance budget is frozen, meaning rural ratepayers will have to pick up more of the tab to look after local road networks that are vital to the New Zealand economy.
The good news is, with balanced transport spending it doesn’t have to be this way. By redirecting just a quarter of the money from the RoNS, the Government could afford to fund half of the City Rail Link, triple the walking and cycling budget, invest in Kiwirail to keep those workers in jobs, and unfreeze the local road maintenance budget to keep up with inflation.
Check out this infographic showing the current unbalanced budget and what we could do with even a slight change:
Even by the Government’s own figures, its belief that the RoNS will boost our economy is highly dubious and lacking evidence. This just doesn’t make sense.New Zealanders deserve a balanced transport plan with foresight.
This debate on transport spending is part of something even larger: this is a battle of ideas about what the future looks like. Let’s send our message to the Government that our future depends on a smart, low carbon economy.
Sign and share the petition, video and infographic! Together we can shift transport spending to smarter choices.
Yep I left the petition bit in there just in case you want to go sign it.
So something is terribly askew here with our land transport funding both nationally and for Auckland in my opinion. What is being set by the government currently fails to me my #3 in What I Stand For – Auckland which was:
An Integrated Approach to Transport: None of this “all for one but not the other approach” we get from both roading and Green lobbyists. Road and Mass Transit both have their places here in Auckland – albeit more balanced like the Generation Zero 50:50 campaign
Yeah I am not seeing too much in the way of an integrated approach here with our land transport folks.
As for longer and heavier trucks, I shall cover that in my second post along with commenting on the bullet points from the Stuff article above.
In the meantime for Central Government; it is time to go back to the drawing board and redo the National Land Transport Fund 2012-2o15 AND 2012-2018 plans. For a more balanced and actual integrated approach to transport planning and funding in and for Auckland’s sake and better future.