Good God I never was aware of this. Under the 2003 Land Transport Management Act Transit can veto developments likely to add traffic to state highways.
Transit’s attitudes to roads (they belong to Transit, not the public) reminds me of the Yes Minister episode where Hacker is informed that once Treasury has their hands on people’s taxes, they consider it Treasury’s money.
Having Transit determine unilaterally where and when developments can occur is ridiculous and a hark back to soviet style central planning. Transit’s job is to build roads to where developments happen, not to veto developments in areas they disapprove of.
I love Maurice Williamson’s suggestion to put the CEO of Transit on a performance contract based on the number of new roads he or she gets built. I can hear the Greens screaming into their organic muesli as they read it over breakfast.
The Government should spend all the petrol tax on roading (providing an extra $600 million a year), and also commit to adjusting the petrol tax to whatever level is needed to fund all roads with a greater than say 2:1 benefit:cost ratio. If that means petrol at $2/litre so we get decent roads so be it.