National’s desperately racing to lock in Transmission Gully and the Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway ahead of the election, in case they lose. Those two projects are nearly half of their $12 billion ‘roads of national significance’, 300km of roads costing an outrageous $40,000 per metre. Now, you would think if the Government was spending $12 billion, it would be to meet a growing demand. Think again.
The truth is that the amount of vehicle kilometres driven in New Zealand have been static since 2005 (well before the recession, but in time with the first of the peak oil price shocks).
Individuals are now driving 8% less per person than in 2004, and commercial transport per person has stalled (these figures don’t include buses, they account for a tiny part of the kilometres driven but that has doubled in the past decade)
Even the number of vehicles per person is falling – and when you break it down, the fall is in heavy commercial vehicles and light passenger cars while the increase is in buses and motorcycles.
People are adapting to the end of cheap oil by using buses and motorcycles. Meanwhile, National is wasting $12 billion as if we’re living in the 50s. The dumbarses.
(all these graphs come from data on the Ministry of Transport site. Might be nice if the government looked at them once in a while)