Motorway funding is bleeding the rest of transport funding dry

30 09 2011

About upcoming NZTA road funding from the latest Cycling Action Network email bulletin:

Transport funding is poured into seven big road projects, starving local councils. The GPS on transport substituted Roads of National Significance (RoNS) for many sustainable transport and road safety programmes, including cycling. A draft GPS for 2012-22 has been released for consultation and CAN has submitted on it. The final version, now released, proposes that over the next 10 years, 51 cents of every transport dollar will go to new road construction (mostly RoNS), with worryingly less for road maintenance and safety, public transport, walking, cycling and travel demand management (TDM). At most, only one cent in the transport dollar will go to walking/cycling and TDM, the most cost-effective investments possible.

Where there has been a little bit of cycling funding, such as in Hastings, it is making a huge difference. Checkout the cycleway map of Hastings. Instead of pissing billions up the wall on duplicate highways of dubious significance, spending millions having iWay like schemes in towns and cities all over the country seems like a completely more sane way of funding transport projects. Human scaled, not scaled for trucks. Human scaled, not scaled for megalomaniacs.

Let your friends know what a vote for National really is, and it isn’t a brighter future. It’s impoverishment economically and ecologically. It is a reduction in the quality of our urban places. The rest of the world (in the form of Ratings Agencies) is waking up to just how bad managers National really are. We hope the rest of the country gets there in time.



One response

26 11 2011
David Bond

I have long been surprised that transport policy doesn’t figure more highly as an election issue and a factor in how people vote. The transport issues at stake over this next term of government are greater than ever before. With National back in office with and assumed “mandate”, $13bn is set to be spent on new highways. This is Muldoon’s “Think-Big” all over again, but worse (at least Muldoon’s schemes were aimed at reducing our dependence on imported oil. The Key-Joyce schemes will worsen it). This will suck a huge amount of funding away from many other worthwhile and deserving items – such as Auckland’s CBD rail tunnel, or even an equivalent facility for Wellington. National claims that these expensive projects will “benefit the economy”, but for a number of the RoNS, the benefit/cost ratio is below 1. This will drain the economy and will be the main (hidden) reason for state asset sales. So much for National’s good fiscal management! So what were the 48% who voted National thinking about? Or were they, as I suspect, not thinking at all? And why didn’t Labour make any sort of election issue about this? (the only voice to speak up was Greens’ Gareth Hughes). We have blown yet another chance to at least begin easing this country out of its abject over-dependence on cars and trucks, imported oil and massive per-capita carbon-emissions. NZers are aptly named “Kiwis”. Flightless, sightless birds that grope around in the dark and can’t spot danger until it’s on them.

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