The government has put out a new policy statement on transport. Total funding is unchanged. But cost of the RoNS is rising before they’re even built. So, it’s more money into white elephant highways. Less money for road safety, local roads, road policing, and public transport. Stupid myopic policy.
The Nats are still planning the same 7 RoNS. Like the Holiday Highway and Transmission Gully whose costs were already higher than the benefits. They’ve lifted the funding range for new state highways by 7% to 2019. To pay for it, road safety spending is slashed 29%. Public transport infrastructure down 30%. Road policing 15%. New local roads cut 30%.
It’s sheer fucken madness. The GPS says that road crashes cost the country $3.8b a year. So why would you cut spending on preventing that cost to fund some highways that aren’t worth the cost?
Oh, and remember that the basic funding for the Land Transport Fund, most of which goes on highways, will come from asset sales if National wins.
When are they going to update the cost benefit analyses of the RoNS? Last time they did it was at the start of 2009. Price of petrol was 70 cents a litre cheaper then. And even at that price they didn’t make sense.
Level of irresponsibility in sinking all these billions into worthless projects while cutting important stuff would be jaw-dropping, if you believed that the government was trying to get us value for money. It’s not. It’s trying really just handing billions to its construction industry mates and win a few votes in the exurbs.