Road Transport Forum on Transmission Gully

January 15th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

from the RTF writes in the Dom Post:

Why are Sue Kedgley and her Green Party colleagues so stridently opposed to road projects and road transport?

Her article condemning the Transmission Gully project and her physical protest against the Basin Reserve reveal a messianic zeal that surpasses all understanding.

We should all welcome public debate on these important issues, but blatant untruths by campaigners should be exposed for what they are. 

Any motorist or freight operator who has experienced the waste of time and fuel associated with the many congestion points between Mana and Waikanae on the existing State Highway 1 route will readily reject her BANANA (build absolutely nothing anywhere never again) syndrome approach.

A nice summary of the Green Party policy on roads!

Kedgley acknowledges that this project has been on the backburner for decades. Her assertion that taxpayers will end up subsidising every road commuter to the tune of $18 a day is a gross distortion of reality.

What she fails to reveal is that all repairs and maintenance of existing highways and the cost of all new highway projects are paid from the hypothecated Land Transport Fund, with no general taxation funding. 

What we have is a user-pays system, where road users fully fund these activities through the fuel excise duty (FED) on petrol and road user charges (RUCs) on diesel-powered vehicles, including the truck fleet. 

The FED and RUCS are projected to contribute $4.9 billion and $3.7b, respectively, to this fund in the next three years.

In addition, about $500 million of motor-registration fees are paid to the Land Transport Fund. Road users, through their representative organisations, the AA and , support and welcome these projects, as do most local bodies. 

Yep roading is basically user-pays, and the vast majority of road users want these projects. Those against tend not to be road users.

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24 Responses to “Road Transport Forum on Transmission Gully”

  1. onthenumber8 (20 comments) says:

    “BANANA (build absolutely nothing anywhere never again) syndrome approach.”

    Double negative.

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  2. campit (467 comments) says:

    “Yep roading is basically user-pays”

    No, it is more tax and spend. In the case of Transmission Gully of course it will in fact be a toll road. But the toll won’t be nearly enough to pay for it, hence other road users will subsidise it through the pending 9c a litre fuel tax increases over the next three years.

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  3. beautox (438 comments) says:

    Those against may not think they are road users, but they are. If they eat, drink or smoke, they are road users. If they live in a house they are road users.

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  4. MT_Tinman (3,094 comments) says:

    “Yep roading is basically user-pays”

    No, roading is basically some user pays.

    AQ significant number of users pay far less than their share of the roading bill.

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  5. PeterG (21 comments) says:

    I thought BANANA in this context stood for Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone

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  6. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    Kedgley acknowledges that this project has been on the backburner for decades. Her assertion that taxpayers will end up subsidising every road commuter to the tune of $18 a day is a gross distortion of reality.

    I.e. an outright lie.

    Worse, until fairly recently it was petrol purchasers (i.e. road users) who were being ripped off through the money going into general taxation instead of roads.

    So she could hardly be further from the truth.

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  7. RRM (9,773 comments) says:

    Ken Shirley makes a couple of other good hits in that column:

    Kedgley’s assertion that the steep gradient will deter use is nonsense and, with modern trucks, the proposed grades are not an issue.

    Equally, her scaremongering over seismic risk is hopelessly out of context. Most of New Zealand is subject to seismic risk simply because our land mass is part of the subduction zone of the Pacific tectonic plate. On this basis, most of our towns and cities would never have been built.

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  8. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Why doesn’t Sue Kedgley leave assessing geotechnical risks to people who actually know what they’re talking about, like geotech engineers, geologists, and seismologists?

    The Greens really have earned their “loony Greens” nickname.

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  9. Paulus (2,597 comments) says:

    Poor Kedgley – another Greenpeace nutter.

    I hope she is not trying to get out of Wellington after an Earthquake where only two roads are available.

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  10. hj (6,832 comments) says:

    Roads are needed for a growing population; population increase is government policy.
    Recent poll 34% say we have enough people already, 26% say 5million (we are almost there given expats), but rust (self-interested money) never sleeps.

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  11. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    ‘Why doesn’t Sue Kedgley leave assessing geotechnical risks to people who actually know what they’re talking about, like geotech engineers, geologists, and seismologists?’
    But if we left decisions about large roading projects to say, roading engineers, they might tell us to can Transmission Gully and upgrade the existing State Highway One route.

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  12. mavxp (496 comments) says:

    Yes she is useless at presenting a rational argument.

    I’d be more interested in an argument that used real facts. For instance I have heard that the cost of the damage to our roads caused by trucks is not covered by the RUC. If true, then in essence commuters and private vehicle use in general are subsiding trucking companies through their petrol tax. Sure we’d end up paying more in the cost of consumables if RUC’s reflected the damage done, but it would reduce any bias towards trucking / roads over alternatives (e.g. rail, coastal shipping).

    I’d support such an argument if indeed the facts were there to back it up. I’d also be in favour of congestion charging on busy roads in our major centres during peak hours, to help subsidise improvements to road and rail infrastructure and promote the use of alternatives for commuters such as using public transport, cycling/ walking and encouraging parents not to drive their kids to school during peak times. The little darlings can get some exercise.

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  13. tvb (4,320 comments) says:

    The greens oppose everything that could be called progress. What they want is a primitive agrarian economy. That is only possible with a fraction of our present population. Do they propose mass killing to bring it down. Of course not so what is the solution to provide for increased demand for everything. They are against fracking which could save our energy future.

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  14. hj (6,832 comments) says:

    “The greens oppose everything that could be called progress. What they want is a primitive agrarian economy. That is only possible with a fraction of our present population. ”
    ……..
    I was reading a piece yesterday about philosophy and analysis of a political position. A philosopher would present the best of the opponents position, which makes sense when you think about it.

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  15. hj (6,832 comments) says:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/how-to-argue-about-politics/

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  16. hj (6,832 comments) says:

    The problem the Greens have is that culturally “human” or pertaining to “humanities” is good and so in suggesting any form of limit they run the gauntlet of Harcourts Shanghai (on the one hand) and there Holinesses Chris Trotter, Paul Spoonely and Keith Locke on the other.

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  17. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    ‘500 million of motor-registration fees are paid to the Land Transport Fund.’

    and the country is broke. That’s criminal and really shows how govts are really taking us all to the cleaners.

    Then blaming the electorate!!

    Third party representation now and punish the old elitist irrelevant paradigm

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  18. DanHob (1 comment) says:

    Roads “user pays” What a joke, its called tax, your Ideology comes with blinkers.

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  19. Left Right and Centre (2,932 comments) says:

    onthenumber8 says:

    *“BANANA (build absolutely nothing anywhere never again) syndrome approach.”

    Double negative.*

    It’s catchier without adding commas etc as I expect you must full well know. Acronyms aren’t always grammatically correct as I’m sure you’re aware of. The intelligent reader knows to instantly see it as ‘build absolutely nothing anywhere, never build anything ever again’. Some poetic license is obviously taken.

    Whatever turns you on man…..

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  20. Left Right and Centre (2,932 comments) says:

    I was working at Wellington Airport for a few days. One woman came from Waikanae to work four hours on a Saturday or something. That’s a one way journey of around 70kms.

    Lots of NZders want to live in one place and work some distance away. That’s what Transmission Gully is about.

    The Greenies would be better off tying to convince people to 1) live closer to work 2) Live in higher density housing arrangements, like townhouses, apartments etc.

    What advantage does NZ have? The one thing that it does have is space. Greenery. Coastline. Most people don’t live on top of each other. Cities aren’t jammed like the Tokyo subway at home time. So… in-keeping with that theme… Wellingtonians want to live on the Kapiti Coast and drive south to work. I would say catch the train. Not enough carriges and tracks. Even if there were… the culture is to take your own car. I saw a Tui sticker on a car the other day…something like… ‘I’d rather be taking the bus. Yeah right.’ Sums up the attitude. I hate using public transport myself and I was a bus driver…. haha. Lots of dumbarse unpleasant weirdo losers use it.

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  21. Left Right and Centre (2,932 comments) says:

    Ken Shirley seems to have a pleasing grasp of the lexicon…. enjoyed his writing.

    Some enjoyable comments too….

    So… if you support TG being built… does that give you a right wing stance on the issue? Does that make you a conservative?

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  22. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    I shpu;d have thought that the decision to build Transmission Gully was a politically neutral one, at least in terms of partisan politics. Look at benefit-cost ratio for alternatives and select the best option. Unfortunately, Transmission Gully has a negative BCR and is not the best option for improving access to Wellington from the Kapiti Coast.

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  23. Griff (7,316 comments) says:

    It is not only direct cost benefit a certain amount of weight must be giving to strategic necessity
    transmission gives a interdependent route
    The earth quake risk is high for the whole region. the more alternative routes the less impact of the next big shake

    Tax and transport
    its ok saying there is a discrepancy in direct payment by freight company’s to the roading fund
    With out road freight we go broke in days not years
    The indirect benefit of road freight is far more than the direct cost on roading infrastructure

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  24. Left Right and Centre (2,932 comments) says:

    It may very well have a ‘negative BCR’. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Having said that… it hasn’t happened yet.

    It won’t come down to just BCR factor. It could well be decided by the DMVTFAFTSSTATFPOSSBSNCR factor.

    Oh, sorry… that needs to be spelled out as: Divert My Vehicle The Fuck Away From Those Shitarse Small Towns And That Fucking Piece Of Shit Slow Bollocks Snaking Nightmare Coastline Road factor.

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