Transport is likely to be an important issue in the next election, with 77.6 per cent of Aucklanders deeming it the region’s single worst problem. With this in mind we have recently appointed Louise Sales as a Transport Campaigner for Auckland. Louise will be working with local groups towards sustainable solutions to Auckland’s transport problems.
To kick off our Transport campaign, an successful Transport Forum was held on 20th September. The first speaker was Christine Caughey from Action Hobson, the political offshoot of Stop the Eastern Motorway (STEM) and the Hobson Bay Residents Network. Christine discussed the folly of the proposed Eastern Motorway and the problems such a road would cause. Christine’s speech was followed by a rousing rendition of ‘No Motorway’ by Luke Hurley which broke up the evening nicely – thanks Luke!
The second speaker of the evening was North Shore councillor Joel Cayford. He very effectively demolished some of the myths put forward by the pro-roading lobby and presented a strong case for good public transport as a means to ease congestion on the roads.
Jeanette Fitzsimons spoke about the implications of peak oil to transport and the need to start putting into place a sustainable transport infrastructure before oil prices go through the roof.
The discussion afterwards touched on the problem of urban sprawl. It was generally felt that well designed, liveable communities are needed in order to reduce the distance people have to travel in their day to day life.
The use of alternative fuels as a means to prolong our car dependence was also discussed. In short, it is unlikely that we could continue to accommodate the demand that cars put on our energy supply. There is a dire need for less energy intensive forms of transport to be introduced.