Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, December 27th, 2018 - 132 comments
Categories: climate change, cycleway, Economy, Environment, global warming, national, public transport, same old national, Simon Bridges, sustainability, transport - Tags:
National frustrates me. For a collective of supposedly bright people who have been born to rule us they come up with some really dumb campaign ideas.
Like their recent MOAR ROADS campaign. In a direct steal of the concept behind the film Three Billboards outside Epping, Missouri they have shamelessly plagiarised the idea behind the movie to complain that Labour has cancelled four different road projects. There are a couple of not too small problems with the claim, Labour has not cancelled the projects and they were never actual projects, just a gleam in Simon Bridges’ eye once all the other horrendous roads of national significance had been built and the ongoing maintenance cost sorted out.
There was this announcement just before the last election where National promised ten new roads of National TM significance at a cost of just over $10 billion dollars. But there was no money for them. The National Land Transport Fund was already struggling with the maintenance bills of the existing dinosaur projects.
And some of them had shockingly bad business cases. That bad that Simon Bridges’ office asked for one of them, the one for the road between Te Hana and Whangarei, to be removed from NZTA’s website. And then denied having done so.
Greater Auckland has a far better proposal, that we invest this huge amount of money into public transport. Of National’s proposal it said this:
As we pointed out at the time, these appear to be a great lesson in diminishing returns, with some of the state highways due to be supersized having fewer than 10,000 vehicles per day use them. That’s far less than even many local roads in Auckland. As such, this represents a massive opportunity cost. It is money that could otherwise go towards creating a world-class public transport system in our major cities or making significant improvements to road safety across a much greater part of the country.
At the same time, over the years and during this election cycle the government have been talked extensively about the need for robust business cases and their economic prowess. However, the low volumes of many of these roads suggests that quite a few are likely to have poor business cases.
More roads mean more driving and more greenhouse gas production. If we are going to become carbon neutral we need to pour money into cycleways and walkways and public transport. Simon Bridges talking about how National recognises the importance to New Zealanders of addressing climate change, and playing our part in the global response is just a bunch of hollow words.
And it is cheap politics not to mention a lie. There was no concrete plan to build these roads. They relied on space in the National Land Transport Fund that just did not exist. Criticising the Government for not doing something there was never a plan to achieve is a downright lie.