Here’s a prediction. Transmission Gully will never be built.
There’s a reason that Labour kept pushing Transmission Gully off. The Benefit/Cost ratio is sh*t. “It is likely that the benefit-cost ratio for the Transmission Gully route is less than 1” says Joyce. Disgracefully, NZTA is too ashamed to publish the actual number.
Transmission Gully will cost $1 billion and be worth less than a billion to the country. Stupid.
Put the billion in early childhood intervention for at-risk kids. Pays off at $17 for each one invested. Or put the billion in public transport with decent B/C ratios. That’s what this government is about, eh? Value for money?
Even that crap “less than 1” B/C assumes no more oil spikes. The IEA reckons the next supply crunch will be 2012. Before building begins on Transmission Gully even if everything goes well. That next spike will push costs up and slash benefits driving the B/C into the ground. Peak oil will keep it there. No government with any sense will build a 27km white elephant, a billion dollar monument to the death of car culture.
Another thing. Tolls are dumb. Running the toll system costs a bomb. Up at Orewa-Puhoi, taking a payment by phone costs NZTA $2.70. Average transaction cost is $1.29. Toll is $2.00. In the first year, tolling lost $500,000 (25% more than revenue). The cost of the system is even more than expected and the losses are bigger (NZTA is pretty shy about revealing that too).
The B/C of roading projects falls with tolling. Why do it? It’s just a dumb obsession with user pays. If a project makes sense its because it creates a worthwhile benefit to the nation as a whole, the nation should pay.
Transmission Gully – worth less than it costs. Tolling – more expensive than the revenue.
Let’s hope we get that sensible government in time to cancel this ridiculous waste of our money.