So Government and Council Align On Transport. Road Congestion Pricing Gets Nearer. Still on Roading Ponzi

Government warming up to congestion pricing, still short on project value

 

Today the Mayor and Minister of Transport released stage two of the Auckland Transport Alignment Program accord report. Stage One was released earlier this year much to my scepticism. Much of that scepticism is still there in Part Two which you can read at the bottom of this post. Today is the summary with full commentary tomorrow on Part Two.

 

From the Office of the Mayor Len Brown:

Auckland and Government align on transport 

Auckland Mayor Len Brown is today welcoming continuing progress towards agreement between Auckland Council and the government on investment on transport in Auckland for the next 30 years.

The Mayor, Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Finance Minister Bill English and Auckland Councillor Bill Cashmore today received the second of the three reports that make up the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP).

ATAP will provide an agreed programme for achieving Auckland’s transport goals.  Broadly, these goals deal with transport access to employment locations, improving on current congestion forecasts, increased public transport usage and ensuring value for money invested.  

Len Brown says “Government and Auckland Council together are making solid progress in prioritising Auckland’s transport investments for the next 30 years.”

Councillor Bill Cashmore, who is working with Mayor Brown in the governance of the project, says “We’ve made such good progress with the Government because we’ve got the process right.  Together, we’ve agreed the goals; we’ve agreed the data and the modelling approach and applied common sense to the results.”

A key finding is that Auckland’s high population growth means that expected investments will need to be made sooner than expected.

Mayor Len Brown says “The issue with growth is because transport infrastructure and services have long lead-in times, we need to fund and build them now.  We can’t build them after people arrive.  That would be a recipe for a choked and economically stunted Auckland.

“The good news is that ATAP shows road pricing, where road users pay to use parts of the network, particularly during peak traffic periods, is an important part of the solution.”

Auckland Council has already carried out considerable consultation on this option and will need to consider it as the current “interim transport levy” paid by all business and residential properties expires in 2018.

The Mayor and Minister have reviewed the work to date and are happy for the project to proceed to the final phase – a prioritised investment programme for transport in Auckland.

The project team will now undertake final modelling, apply different budget scenarios and assess the results against the agreed goals before delivering the final ATAP report in August.

Councillor Bill Cashmore says “It’s important that the third step springboards into a funding discussion because this must get sorted before the 2018 Auckland Council Long-Term Plan (LTP).”

Len Brown says “Auckland’s growth means government and council need to put aside politics, agree the facts, design the responses and jointly deliver transport investment across Auckland”.

—ends—

 

ATAP will provide an agreed programme for achieving Auckland’s transport goals.  Broadly, these goals deal with transport access to employment locations, improving on current congestion forecasts, increased public transport usage and ensuring value for money invested.  

Looking at projects going ahead like Mill Road expressway, Reeves Road Flyover, Option F for the East West Link, the road only crossing for the next Harbour Crossing, the North Western Motorway upgrade with no bus-way attached and a potential parallel expressway next to State Highway 22 going to Pukekohe while Airport and North Shore Rail, the North West Busway and the AMETI Busway or even Botany Line to Pakuranga from Panmure all struggle I fail to see how the ATAP, the Council and the Ministry of Transport are ensuring value for money on transport projects so needed.

As said in: Growth Ponzi Scheme + We Are Too Inefficient as a Nation:

For New Zealand especially Auckland our biggest ponzi scheme that is both Council and Government induced is the roads and motorways ponzi scheme. We are building these wide grandiose roads and motorways when both fuel tax revenue is falling per capita of population (more efficient cars and rise of E-cars) and car usage is falling due to more people taking public or active transport. Basically we will have this massive roads liability in 30 years time due to the short sightedness of politicians and bureaucrats today over investing in roads and not enough in public and active transports. Given 30 years times the Baby Boomers will be retired and on Superannuation I wonder what funding will get diverted from where to pay for their liabilities they created today?

……..

The East West Link Option F being the biggest Ponzi Scheme we have with roads proposed (and actually happening) at the moment. And this is before we get to the next Harbour Crossing under the Waitemata Harbour.

 

 

Yes we still have a long way to go with actual valued investment in transport so my scepticism of the ATAP continues.

 

Auckland Transport Alignment Project Update Report June 2016

 

Auckland Transport Alignment Project Interim Report

 

Advertisements