Herald helping National over Auckland roads | The Jackal

4 Aug 2017

Herald helping National over Auckland roads

We all know that the traffic in Auckland sucks big time. You have to plan any travel well in advance to counter congestion that is on par with the notoriously bad traffic in Hong Kong.

You would think with all the billions of taxpayer dollars the government has spent on Auckland’s roads over the last few years that things would have improved. However that’s not the case.

On Wednesday, the NZ Herald reported:

Auckland gridlock costing up to $1.9b a year

Auckland's traffic congestion is costing the local economy up to twice as much as previously estimated, according to a new research by the NZ Institute of Economic Research.

The report - Benefits from Auckland road decongestion - found benefits of decongestion to the current network capacity in Auckland at $0.9 billion to $1.3 billion (1 per cent to 1.4 per cent of Auckland's GDP).

But if the average speed across the Auckland network was close or equal to the speed limit, which is also known as free-flow, then the estimated benefits of decongestion during weekdays was between $1.4 and $1.9 billion (between 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent of Auckland's GDP).

The range of estimates reflects different assumptions about how an easier commute would affect Auckland's labour supply.
An easier commute in Auckland would be dependant on getting more people out of their cars and into alternative public transport. Unfortunately the National led governments plan, if it can be called that, is to just keep building more and more roads.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

National's $2.6 billion plan to fix Auckland's traffic chaos

National has come up with a whopping $2.6 billion election transport package for Auckland that includes a new highway alongside the Southern Motorway for $955 million and a Northwestern Busway costing $835m.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges was forced to reveal details of the package last night after parts of it were obtained by the Herald.

The package also provides $615m for the Ameti transport project in southeast Auckland, $130m to electrify rail from Papakura to Pukekohe and about $100m for a third track on the busy freight and passenger rail line between Westfield and Wiri.

Bridges said all of the projects, except the Mill Rd highway from Manukau to Drury, would be completed within 10 years.

The NZ Herald’s not so subtle free political advertising for the National party is pretty obvious. However what these biased articles fail to highlight is that National have had nine long years to fix Auckland’s gridlock and they have utterly failed. If anything Auckland’s roads are worse since National gained power in 2008.

The National party are clearly against any real plan that will get people out of their cars and onto public transport. That’s because National is addicted to the automobile and the oil and gas revenues it brings in.

Until the National party’s vested interest in keeping people gridlocked in cars is exposed, Auckland won’t decongest from its unproductive traffic woes. That’s another good reason to vote for a political party that will invest in light rail and other transport options before the next ice age.