So Which Form of Mediocrity Would You Like Today?

Not Really Options for Transport as Purported by The Mayor

 

So with Mayor incumbent Len Brown kicking off his campaign the issue of transport got dragged up straight away. In other words how to pay for the 2012 Integrated Transport Plan that has caused a lot of teeth gnashing from all sides of the coin.

From The NZ Herald

Auckland drivers face off-ramp toll

By Mathew Dearnaley

 

Drivers may be tolled at Auckland motorway exit ramps to ease pressure on ratepayers over a $12 billion transport funding gap, according to a high-level report due out today.

 

The report, from a 17-member think-tank appointed by Mayor Len Brown, will give Auckland Council and the Government a clear timetable for when new revenue sources will be needed to raise an extra $400 million for each of 30 years.

 

The money will be for projects such as the City Rail Link and new roads, including another Waitemata Harbour crossing.

 

The plan is expected to include increases to fuel taxes and rates and possible charges for motorists to use existing roads from 2020, rather than just tolls now allowed on new government highways.

Well as already noted those going right through the city won’t be pinged so long as they stay on the motorway. As for the rest of us? The Great South Road and Mill Road sound better alternatives from Papakura to Manukau or Otahuhu that using State Highway one.

My point? This proposing on slugging the off ramps rather than certain points along the motorway and having an effective mass transit alternative is a case of the cart before the horse syndrome.

To make matters worse in Len pigeon holing the transport funding debate some options were eliminated from the scope in the feedback session by the Consensus Building Group (yeah an Oxymoron right there):

From the Herald again

That paper ruled out about 20 options such as assets sales, a regional sales tax and a lottery before leaving Aucklanders with a stark choice between hefty rates rises combined with fuel tax rises in one corner, and a combination of enhanced traditional funding sources and road charges in the other.

 

Although the Government is opposed to charging drivers to use existing motorways, it is understood the report will suggest tolls at the off-ramps to local roads, given that those are half-funded by ratepayers.

 

Long-distance travellers would be free to drive through the city without being charged, as long as they stayed on the motorways.

 

What was wrong having a good debate about those options in red? Probably not compatible with the Mayor’s ideology so he shuts them out of the debate entirely and pigeon hole’s into the more unsustainable options I could think of.

 

Least our transport workhorse (one of two) Councillor Mike Lee hits the nail on the head:

Council transport chairman Mike Lee said he believed Aucklanders were “more than paying their way” and he didn’t think trying to find more cash from them “is on right now”.

 

So a rejig of the transport priorities and funding allocations might be needed here first folks. Not much of chance that happening while the Local Government Elections now formally under way…

 

 

9 thoughts on “So Which Form of Mediocrity Would You Like Today?

    1. The cost was $1.5 million for the Consensus Building Group to the ratepayer. They were not professional consultants but rather professional (apart from one or two) lobbyists

  1. However, firstly, there are billions of dollars worth of plans in there that can be struck off or de-engineered before anything else.

  2. Singapore have a very good Road Pricing scheme in place. We should at least look at how it works before writing it off.

    1. No one is quite writing off the Road Pricing Scheme. But, what was proposed by the CBG could go through a heck of a lot of improvement. Once the WRR is complete I was thinking of setting congestion charging on State Highway One between the South Eastern Highway/Southern Motorway Interchange, SH18/1 Interchange on the North Shore, and the SH20/16 interchange so the “inner circuit” is subject to pricing to cut down inter city through traffic.

      Yes Singapore would be a good place to look at but I believe they also have a good mass transit system in place first?

      1. They do but they also still have congestion. I don’t believe SH1 should be priced as, I don’t feel the drive through traffic is necessarily to blame. The entrances / exits to and from the downtown area would be the logical first step. I know Matt (ATB) made a statement against this on Twitter this morning but the downtown area is the main problem from a transport spending point of view. Shelley Beach, Fanshaw, Cook, Nelson, Hobson, Wellesley etc and combine with traffic calming/ limiting on local streets to avoid rat running. I don’t have any ideas on set up costs. It could also help speed up payment and therefore time frames for any PT projects. The tolls in the Singapore example are not high with the exception of some locations at the 8:30 – 9am time slot. We certainly shouldn’t be widening any roads or building new roads (including AWHC) before looking at this (southern mtwy excepted).

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