Dom Post on Transmission Gully

December 16th, 2009 at 2:08 pm by David Farrar

Today’s editorial:

If Steven Joyce does nothing else as transport minister, he has ensured himself the grateful thanks of Wellingtonians.

I have to say that the response on the street has been overwhelmingly positive. I think most people had given up on it ever actually getting funding.

Yesterday’s green lighting of as part of a $2.1 billion to $2.4b upgrade of the main road north is a godsend for the Wellington region. All going to plan, the capital will, in 10 years, be linked to all points north by a four-lane expressway stretching from Wellington Airport to Levin. Vehicles will be able to move in and out of the capital with a minimum of fuss and bother. The benefits will be enjoyed not just by motorists but by businesses that will be able to get their goods to market faster.

And having fewer cars stuck in traffic jams will mean less emissions!

The last government undertook to contribute several hundred million dollars towards the cost of upgrading the road north, but never came up with enough money to get the project under way. The difference between it and its successor is that this Government has decided to invest nearly $11 billion in new state highway infrastructure in the next 10 years to reduce congestion and road deaths and improve productivity. As Mr Joyce noted yesterday: “There is nothing like putting a funding pipeline on the table and saying to people `knock yourselves out’.” There is also, it appears, nothing like a minister who earned his spurs in the business world rather than making paperclip chains on Parliament’s back benches. Mr Joyce has injected a sense of urgency into his portfolio.

The last Govt did start moving in the right direction, but as the Dom Post says, Steven has brought his business experience to the portfolio, and has made some relatively quick decisions on the important priorities.

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23 Responses to “Dom Post on Transmission Gully”

  1. campit (467 comments) says:

    His business experience should tell him that you shouldn’t back a project with a projected return of 30c to 50c for every dollar invested, which is exactly what the Benefit Cost Ratio for TG is.

    [DPF: The BCR bounces around. In 2003 GWRC estimated it was a 4:1 ratio if built by 2010. The problem has been the massive delays and cost increases. The bottom line is there needs to be greater capacity out of Wgtn and TG is superior to trying to four lane the current SH1]

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  2. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Now we can listen to all jafa soiling themselves over anyone daring to get funding who isn’t them.

    One narrow winding two lane road into the captial compared to the billions of dollars of multi-lane higways that help make Auckland such an inviting place is no excuse not give all our tax dollars to people who think that one man one car is actually a goal.

    And by the way virtually no mp uses it because they all fly in from jafaland and get into the city from the other direction.

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  3. Peter (1,694 comments) says:

    Long time overdue.

    If the dullard Greenies are to be consistent, then sea level rise will surely wipe out the existing, precarious route into Wellington. SH1 is pretty much on the waterline in places.

    What’s their solution to that? Build an Ark?

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  4. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    This government truly believes that if we do not drastically cut emissions large parts of NZ and other countries will be flooded due to sea level rises.

    So, why are they building a new motorway? It will result in greater emissions since traffic will increase to meet the new capacity.

    Wouldn’t they be better off spending money on more trains?

    That is, if the government truly believes in human induced climate change.

    I see a government racked with inconsistency. On one hand, introducing carbon taxes, and on the other increasing emissions through the building of new roads etc.

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  5. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Using your logic Wreck shouldn’t we be bulldozing half of Auckland?

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  6. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    wreck1080

    Don’t assume personal transport and fossil fuel consumption are forever one in the same. Cars may not run on fossil fuels in the future, the power stations to charge them up might though. A better quality of road leads to less fuel consumption – irrespective of what that fuel is. Has anyone ever studied the average k’s/liter consumption based on road quality? Don’t suggest it to the IPCC or they will produce a model showing traffic lights are killing the planet.

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  7. campit (467 comments) says:

    The BCR bounces around. In 2003 GWRC estimated it was a 4:1 ratio if built by 2010.

    DPF, with respect historic BCRs are completely irrelevant. The most recent BCRs for this project indicate that TG is an economic lemon of a project.

    [DPF: So are you saying that Wellington remains with the status quo for ever? Also do you think BCR is the only factor considering many public transport investments have low BCRs]

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  8. backster (2,196 comments) says:

    I am most impressed by this Minister after the inability of Clark & Co to progress anything except Social Degeneration. I hope there are subsequent plans to bypass Levin and Foxton also though.

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  9. campit (467 comments) says:

    So are you saying that Wellington remains with the status quo for ever?

    No, but I’d like to know what justification the Minister is using to fund the project if it isn’t the benefit cost ratio.

    Earlier on you said “TG is superior to trying to four lane the current SH1″, but this is not what the BCR suggests. There has been no meaningful analysis since the announcement on the value of spending over a billion dollars on TG as opposed to spending lesser amounts on other options.

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  10. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    Murray: my logic suggests nothing of the sort so it is a spurious argument you have proposed. However, you could infer from my logic that they should not build more roads in Auckland.

    Burt: For now, cars run on fossil fuels or electricity both of which cause carbon emissions so there is no point in arguing that. Not sure what you mean about a better quality of road. They are building new roads, not improving existing ones.

    The efficiency gains from faster moving traffic will be more than wiped out by the increase in traffic.

    I just find it hilarious that anyone can seriously argue that building more roads will result in a drop in overall emissions.

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  11. campit (467 comments) says:

    Not to belabour the point, but Liberty Scott nailed the TG vs Coastal route argument back in 2006:

    Transmission Gully would have a benefit/cost ratio of 1:1, by changing the discount rate and counting the multiplier effect on the economy etc (which is to some extent double counting). The truth is that by taking the same approach to the coastal route you’d get a BCR of nearly 2:1 and there are many many other projects of higher value that get really good BCRs. BCR is first and foremost a ranking tool, and Transmission Gully ranks very poorly.

    http://libertyscott.blogspot.com/2006/03/transmission-gully-proposed-by.html

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  12. Manolo (14,169 comments) says:

    Never seen a more aptly named “contributor” than wreck1080. His/her nickname speaks volumes.

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  13. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    “businesses that will be able to get their goods to market faster.”

    Might cut $50 worth of time off our bills each time we go to do site inspections up the coast. I can’t imagine what other goods would really suffer from 20 minutes in traffic, apart from readymix concrete trucks…?

    Real benefits of this are to (1) the commuter rush-hour and (2) the holiday mass-exodus.

    But to realize the full benefits of this road, there will need to be an education campaign to teach Wellingtonians to GET OUT OF THE FREAKING FAST LANE…

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  14. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    Apart from the obvious – that money should not be wasted on small towns, that roading money should be spent in Auckland (etc), what particularly annoys me about this is the corrupt way $1 billion is being spent….

    1. All civil servants are failures in life (or else they would be able to get a proper job)
    2. They leech money from productive, successful people
    3. Civil Servants in Wellington are advising the Minister to go ahead
    4. Civil Servants advising the Minister are those benefiting from his favourable decision
    5. The Civil Servants have turned down numerous worthy roading projects in other parts of the Country (which do not benefit them)
    6. See point 1 above
    7. See point 2 above

    These people should have been ‘responsible’ and not advised the Minister to go ahead with something which benefits them directly; totally corrupt and rotten to the core.

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  15. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    You’re a bunch of clowns thinking that new roads will reduce emissions.

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  16. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    wreck

    “I just find it hilarious that anyone can seriously argue that building more roads will result in a drop in overall emissions.”

    You will never hear that from me Wreck, I could not give a flying fuck if ‘emissions’ increased ten fold.

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  17. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    ” that roading money should be spent in Auckland”

    As a rule I am not one to get stuck into the Jafa’s, but when I see comments like that I can understand why so many Kiwis cannot stand the Auck’s.
    New Zealand does not stop at the Bombay Hills, we are funding your roads and your fucking Rugby stadium (the rest of us paid for our own footy parks) and your hundreds of leaky homes, the least you bastards can do is STFU and deal with it.

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  18. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    All civil servants are failures in life (or else they would be able to get a proper job)

    What is a proper job?

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  19. Fisiani (1,052 comments) says:

    I live in Wellington but work in Waikanae.
    In the morning I drive to work taking 44 minutes from door to door. I pass a super slow backlog of thousands of cars tailing back for more than 10 kilometers. These people take nearly two hours to make the same journey.
    In the evening the same applies in reverse.
    Sometimes for the hell of it I wind down the window and give a friendly wave to the sometimes motionless queues. Sometimes I use all five fingers!
    Do the maths. 44,000 cars taking 90-120 mins versus 2 roads and a 4 lane expressway taking 23-30 mins less.
    Frequently SH1 is partially blocked by a crash. Everyone sits and moves at glacial stop start speed.
    2 roads 2 options.
    Every person in the Wellington region with a brain is applauding this emission busting fuel saving life enhancing investment.
    They are also extending elecrtrification of the railway line to Waikanae next year.
    Thank God for National

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  20. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    Stephen Joyce is having the time of his life approving all these projects. I just hope he has thought each one of them through because we have never had such a rush of projects in the roading area. But Mr Joyce does give the impression that he is on top of each one of these projects when questioned. He makes it all look so easy but I bet it is not.

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  21. Biomag83 (94 comments) says:

    Joyce is one of those Ministers who has gotten stuck into his portfilio and is making a difference. He is very keen on lifting new zealands productivity. Thats a great thing for all kiwis. This guy may not be in parliament for long, but he has made a huge contribution to the life on Nz

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  22. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    What is a proper job?

    Person in question likes to pontificate, a lot. You’ll be quite busy if you question everything…

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  23. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    And having fewer cars stuck in traffic jams will mean less emissions!

    While that is certainly true on a “per vehicle per kilometre” basis, generally if you have more roads you ‘induce’ traffic onto them and encourage people to travel further. This more that outweighs the per vehicle kilometre gain from less congestion.

    Induced traffic is unfortunately generally ignored by road engineers, even though it explains exactly why our roads end up congested no matter how much we widen the motorways. Heck, Toronto has an 18 lane wide motorway that still gets grid-locked during peak hour.

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