A balanced approach

November 16th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

On a bus in Wellington yesterday, the Green Party announced it would scrap Transmission Gully, the Kapiti Expressway and the Basin Reserve flyover roading programmes and reprioritise the $2.4billion spending.

I don’t know why the just don’t come out and ban cars, rather than mess around with half measures. Their strategy is for roads to become so dangerous and congested through lack of spending, that people will abandon their cars, which will of course save the planet.

Road Forum spokesman Ken Shirley disputed the Greens’ figures and said that over the next three years National had proposed spending $10b on roads and $7b on rail, despite roads taking 75 per cent of freight while 15 per cent of freight was moved on rail. The Greens were politicising the national highway process because of their love of other modes, he said.

This is what I call a balanced approach. You needs both roads and rail.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett called the Greens’ policy “madness” and said Transmission Gully and the Kapiti Expressway were essential to help develop the economic capabilities of the region.

A sensible chap that Leggett.

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11 Responses to “A balanced approach”

  1. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    I haven’t seen the $7b on rail number before – is there anywhere we can see this figure broken down? From the Nats policy on their website the biggest number I can find is $2.8b (1.6b of which is electrification of Auckland rail, 750m for KiwiRail, 471m for Wellington network), all of which are already in progress as far as I’m aware?

    Interesting to call the Road Transport Forum (the driving force of trucking) spokesman’s comments “a balanced approach” though!

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  2. anonymouse (705 comments) says:

    http://www.national.org.nz/PDF_General/Transport_policy.pdf

    The $4.6 billion KiwiRail Turnaround Plan and investment in upgrading the Auckland and Wellington networks means National is investing almost $7 billion in rail. We’re improving the rail-freight network, helping KiwiRail become commercially viable, and supporting modern, reliable commuter services.

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  3. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    The Greens want to stay a 10% party with this approach. But its affect on Labour as their partner is the larger issue and may prevent Labour from becoming Government in the medium term unless Labour can Govern alone like National.

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  4. northern (44 comments) says:

    I was beginning to think the Greens were moderating and learning that they could actually achieve more by working with National than they ever got from Labour. But their true colurs (red-green rather than blue-green) are on display again this week: first with the criminal vandalism and repeated lies over the billboard damage and now with more insanely extreme hostility to private vehicle owners. Furthermore, in the Mana electorate their candidate Jan Logie ignores their environmental base and harps on continually about beneficiaries deserving to be paid more. What a pack of losers (I hope!).

    BTW, yes I agree Mayor Leggett is proving himself to be a damned good mayor of Porirua. He maintains a partisan neutrality (warmly introducing Hekia Parata at her campaign launch while also delivering flyers for a Labour friend standing in another electorate) and this independence helps him focus on what is best for his city without having his strings pulled by Trades Hall.

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  5. alwyn (439 comments) says:

    One can’t really expect much sense out of the Green party on transport.
    I was listening to Morning Report on Tuesday when their spokesman, Gareth Hughes, was being interviewed along with Stephen Joyce. Young Gareth is obviously numerically illiterate.
    He claimed, and it is available online at about 07.22am, that an Auckland council case study had decided that there would be 46,000 trips/day on the Auckland trains that the Greens are proposing. He then said that this would require, if carried on the roads, 23 lanes of motorway!
    The Auckland harbour bridge carries, on a busy day, about 200,000 vehicles. Suppose we assume that every vehicle had only a single passenger. This would, by Gareths calculations require 100 lanes on the bridge. I haven’t been in Auckland for a couple of months and things may have changed but last time I looked there were only 8 lanes on the bridge. Can an Auckland reader confirm that they haven’t added 90+ lanes since October 1st?
    I know that the Greens are pretty stupid but how did he ever come up with this particularly silly claim.

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  6. aitkenmike (95 comments) says:

    Transmission Gully – Essential, should have been built 50 years ago. A failure by both major parties in the past that this isn’t already completed.

    Kapiti Expressway – absolute disaster and no need for it. Over half the traffic on that stretch of SH1 (from memory 60%) begins and ends in the Kapiti Region. Build the 2 lane Western Link Road with the second bridge without ripping Kapiti in half, and upgrade the current SH1 where it needs improving. This will be cheaper and provide a much better outcome for the area.

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  7. Brian Smaller (3,966 comments) says:

    The Green’s idea of a light rail loop in Wellington and out to the Hutt is all well and good – as long as you never have to drive or travel up the coast to get out or into the Wellington region. They think like children.

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  8. insider (845 comments) says:

    A light rail loop to the Hutt? Have they not noticed the heavy rail corridor already there? So they want to double the infrastructure for essentially the cosmetics of light rail?

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  9. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    Thanks anonymouse. I see the trick is spending money on rail != spending money on public transport, thus allowing the disparity in the figures while both are “correct”.

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  10. cabbage (457 comments) says:

    Kapiti Expressway – absolute disaster and no need for it. Over half the traffic on that stretch of SH1 (from memory 60%) begins and ends in the Kapiti Region. Build the 2 lane Western Link Road with the second bridge without ripping Kapiti in half, and upgrade the current SH1 where it needs improving.

    As someone who owns property about a kilometer from the espressway route, i could not disagree with you more. The district and region cannot and will not be able to cope with growth without solid infrastructure such as roading. A two lane WLR and upgraded highway simply do not cut it as far as this is concerned. Airport redevelopment and the continued push of urban sprawl guarantee that the Kapiti Coast will continue its population explosion for the years to come. Already we see gridlock reguarly during the weekends and peak hour periods; a two lane WLR will only go a small way to alleviate this, and only in the short term. Meanwhile, highway improvements in Paraparaumu and Waikanae would also affect homeowners and business alike, as there is an absolute need for an unimpeded four lane flow through the district.

    Had the council not renegged on the original Four Lane WLR proposal, then we may not be in the situation we are, as that road would already be underway, and we would have a viable, albeit less efficient alternative to the Kapiti Expressway.

    This will be cheaper and provide a much better outcome for the area

    Its quite clear by this statement that you are looking at this from a NIMBY perspective. Both the Manawatu and Wellington regions are going to benefit significantly from this Road of National Significance. Why then should Kapiti’s wants and needs outweigh this?

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  11. Lucia Maria (2,654 comments) says:

    As a Kapiti resident that’ll be pretty close to the route as well, I just wish they’d build the road already!

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