Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Government’s transport bias apparent - David Bennett

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Government’s "flagship" transport plan ignores the opportunities to adopt smart transport solutions while developing a stronger nationwide road network that can help bolster public transport solutions, says National’s Transport spokesperson David Bennett.

"It fails to invest in the infrastructure required for an economy in a Covid pandemic. The Government is still focused on niche projects - not connectivity, productivity and growth on a national scale.

"We need to embrace clean energy sources for cars, and strive for greater efficiency of bus networks. This includes a faster transition to electric cars and buses. Roads are key to ongoing growth and the adaption of modern technologies.

"Instead, all the Government has offered is an anti-road transport plan with a disproportionate amount of money spent on walking and cycling lanes that have cost more than $2 million per kilometre.

"The public has already rejected niche and expensive follies in the soon-to-be defunct Auckland Harbour Bridge crossing. Everyday Kiwis know what’s best for their travel plans, and this transport plan continues the Government’s fixation with out-of-touch, nice-to-have projects, rather than what is actually needed."

Key issues in the plan are:

- The introduction of a track user charge on rail - essentially a new tax

- The relegation of Auckland Light Rail to planning and design, with no prospect of construction

- The Eastern Busway left in limbo

- Hyped-up maintenance funding that will barely cover cost increases and the extra kilometres of roads included in this category

- Speed limit reductions on 16,500km of roads

- Millions spent on cycleways while motorists remain stuck in queues

- Some regions are effectively ignored, for example, Canterbury and Waikato making up nearly a quarter of New Zealand’s population but only getting an eighth of the transport budget

- A $2 billion loan given just to plug the financials without plans for interest and repayment

"This is not a transport plan for the future," says Mr Bennett. "It fails to take into account technological changes in transport modes. It’s fixated with a Government bias. It’s like putting a Boeing 777 jet on a regional route and a turbo-prop on a main city route. It doesn’t make commercial sense and misses a golden opportunity to invest in our productive sectors."

All articles and comments on Voxy.co.nz have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.