Transport review asks right questions

Green MP and Auckland transport spokesperson, Keith Locke says there are gains for the city in the just-released Transfund review of transport projects.

“The Land Transport Management Act is starting to work,” Mr Locke said. “What we’re now seeing is people starting to ask questions about how much projects really benefit communities and the environment.

“We’re particularly pleased at the progress on the North Shore busway and the focus on making sure that the busway is matched by quality bus services.

Mr Locke also welcomed the fact that further work was to be done on State Highway 20. “Even Transit’s figures show the extension will encourage more people to get into their cars and further congest feeder roads to SH20, such as Hillsborough Road and Dominion Road.

“The Transfund review reports there is a real risk the new road will fill-up with cars from day one. It notes the project is ‘ineffective in terms of providing adequate capacity in terms of connections with local networks to deal with anticipated demand on or close to opening.’

“Transfund’s report correctly interprets the new Act as introducing a broader perspective than just shifting traffic jams to justify the next road. New roading in Auckland needs to be ‘smart roading” suited to today’s conditions, not projects based on a ‘completion fetish’ for a 50 year old plan.

Mr Locke said there are a range of options that ought to be considered, including smaller scale roading in conjunction with rail development. “The SH 20 extension, as envisaged, will do serious damage to local parks and communities and the study shows will increase congestion. This review provides an opportunity to look at the Western Corridor from a broader perspective.”