The plan to do nothing for a decade and then make things worse

Stuff reports:

Light rail to Island Bay has been revealed as the centrepiece of Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s plans to reshape the capital’s transport network.

The four options to be considered for public consultation have been released. Three involve a tram line to Island Bay, with the fourth option based around elongated electric “bendy buses” running on dedicated lanes.

Every option includes a new tunnel under Mount Victoria, but none with additional car lanes.

When you ask Wellingtonians their number one desire for the CBD traffic, it is to four lane the Mt Vic tunnel. The Government is proposing a cruel trick where it sounds like they will do this, but in fact the two extra lanes will ban cars from them. This is crazy.

Steven Joyce had a great vision for the region. Four lanes from the airport to Levin. We’ve already seen the huge difference the Kapiti expressway has made. The days of 30 – 45 minutes stuck through Paraparaumu are gone. The expressway is superb. The extension to Otaki will be great, and Transmission Gully will be worth waiting for as the congestion at Pukerua Bay and Mana will become a distant memory.

But to really get the benefits we need to have the four lanes through the city also. And these four proposals do almost nothing for that. This is not the fault of the LGWM staff – it is the fault of their political masters who have basically instructed them to do nothing for cars as they see cars as evil.

Three of the four options would extend Arras Tunnel, meaning the Basin Reserve would no longer be a roundabout.

That is one bright spot, but they are talking about maybe doing this in the 2030s. We need it now.

Light rail to the South Coast would remove up to 500 vehicles in the morning peak hour and support the development of up to 21,000 new homes, Transport Minister Michael Wood said.

I’m all for light rail where it makes economic sense. The last time GWRC looked at it for Wellington they found the benefit to cost ratio to be 0.05 which means every $100 of spending produces $5 of benefits. And the consultation document fails to give us any BCR estimates for the four options. I am agnostic between the four. I want the option which has the best BCR. Asking people’s opinions without having that is like giving out menus at a restaurant with no prices on them. The document does give ballpark costs, but that is very different to costs calculated against benefits.

The other thing to note is that even if a decision is made, none of this would even start until 2028 by which time we will have had two more general elections and three local body elections. Inevitably decisions made in 2022 will not survive until then. You need to decide, and then start work asap. And some of the options have 15 years of construction estimated so what they are saying is you might get light rail or bus rapid transport in 2043!!!

And based on progress in Auckland, more likely to be 2053!

Again none of this is the fault of LGWM staff. It is the fault of the political masters who won’t give any funding to do stuff quicker, and have a hatred of private motor vehicles.

Comments (93)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment

%d bloggers like this: