Yes Wellington needs a transport agency

The Herald reports:

National is proposing regional authorities for both and Canterbury.

The idea is part of the party’s transport discussion document released today. Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges has promised National will be “the party of infrastructure” if it wins power in next year’s election.

The authorities would operate along the lines of Auckland Transport, but potentially with more accountability following growing frustrations by Aucklanders at the behaviour of council controlled organisations, and AT in particular.

To do this the party is also considering the idea of a performance auditor, a body run by the council, to demand accountability from AT.

The idea for a regional transport authority has previously been called a show of no confidence in Greater Wellington Regional Council’s ability to deliver transport measures.

“The bus fiasco in Wellington has indicated that the shared responsibility and the divided responsibility and accountability lines has not really worked,” National’s transport spokesperson Chris Bishop said.

“The city council blaming the regional council, the regional council blaming the city council and when that kind of expired they all put up their hands and blamed the New Zealand Transport Agency, and that’s just not tenable.”

A dedicated transport agency for Wellington is absolutely the right thing to do. Having everything to get agreement from WRC, WCC and NZTA is just paralysis.

It also means a dedicated board and staff purely focused on improving transport. The Wellington Regional Council has multiple areas of focus, and we saw how badly they managed transport.

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