Transmission Gully

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, September 2nd, 2019 - 69 comments
Categories: julie anne genter, local government, Steven Joyce, transport, uncategorized - Tags:

NZTA have determined to not proceed with tolling the Transmission Gully motorway.

This is in part because transport flow modeling shows that if priced, too many would simply use the alternative state highway route.

So, no cost to any driver. And clearly not enough need of it at all. No signal of a sustainability cost to road transport. Not a jot.

Transmission Gully was an important political win for MP Peter Dunne, and an important part of his continuing support for supporting the National-led government, through Minister Joyce.

Who knows if we ran the alternative history about whether it would have happened or not under a Labour-led government.

In 2012 the Greens’ Julie Anne Genter described the motorway as costing about $1 billion when the official business case benefits were $600 million.

More recently, costs have blown out so badly that the contractor is taking out an action so big against NZTA that it is mentioned as a specific liability in NZTA’s annual report.

This government will open this motorway next year, before the election. Tough gig.

I love a good motorway. The Cambridge 110km speed expressway is a handsome piece of kit. And I’m looking forward to avoiding Hamilton and Huntly entirely rather than being pulled into wearying and compressed local networks. The new expressways are safer, faster,
separated from the local network mostly, with multiple lanes to separate cars from freight.

But holy mackerel this Transmission Gully looks like our largest single transport waste.

69 comments on “Transmission Gully”

  1. riffer 1

    Yes, as a Wellingtonian, I'm in two minds here. I took a road trip over the weekend – up to Hamilton, via National park, then to Tauranga and back down again via Desert Road.  The Cambridge Expressway is great to travel on, as is the Kapiti Expressway. But there are a few areas where the traffic gets bunched up, and it's got me wondering how much fuel we all waste in traffic jams compared to free flowing traffic. I'm not sure what's more environmentally friendly. Seems also that we are in such a hurry nowadays that if we can't get from Auckland to Welly in six and a half hours it's somehow a huge drain on the economy. I work in Tawa, and live in Upper Hutt so it's a bit of a commute each day. I'm curious as to how much Transmission Gully will actually benefit me. Probably won't much. But it's here now, so I guess we just have to accept it and move on. These massive projects really are fraught aren't they? 

    • Dukeofurl 1.1

      Free flowing …until it bunches. Its the nature of the traffic system as the volume builds up to the roads capacity.

      Good  example is the motorway past Orewa where it ends at Puhoi. On busy weekends the motorway backs up because the road goes from  2 lanes at say 3500 vehicles per hour to one lane at 1500 per hour. This is for a few hours at the most.

      Cant see where the idea it was  Dunnes  'political win'  came from. It was on Nations 'RONS' list  when they came into government in 2008

      As well the idea of the  Contractor taking on the Government over cost blow outs   seems to ignore the process which built and  now 'owns the road'   with yearly payments of $125 mill  from the government.

      NZTA quite rightly says there is no financial liability as the contractor who is part of the consortium isnt 'working for the government' on this. read the link to understand the  context.

      "WGP won the contract to design and build Transmission Gully and maintain it for 25 years. The venture consists of Cimic Group’s PPP unit Pacific Partnerships, Accident Compensation Corp’s investment arm, and global investment manager InfraRed Capital Partners."

      The WGP takes on the financial risk over DESIGN AND BUILD. End of story.

  2. Gosman 2

    To avoid the problem of people using other routes they should be tolled too.

    • KJT 2.1

      Agree. Especially if it is in proportion to their real share of the road costs. "User pays".

      Though if we made trucks pay their full road costs, we would not need the extra roads in the first place.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        Transmission gully (although very expensive) was always a better arterial route than the coastal option as the coast route goes through too many built up areas. Even if you priced trucks off the road there should be roads like Transmission gully to remove the fast flowing from the local traffic.

        • KJT 2.1.1.1

          Not convinced on that. Most of the Kapiti Road congestion is Wellington commuters who live along the coast.

          Transmission gully will mainly advantage Wellington to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga linehaul trucks. The sort of freight that is more efficiently carried by rail.

          Transmission gully is a several billion dollar subsidy to a few trucking firms.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1

            And anyone who lives on the Kapiti Coast north of Paekakariki. The only motor vehicle commuters who won't benefit are those living in Pukerua bay. Even those in Plimmerton will be able to get on to the motorway at Porirua much faster.

            • OnceWasTim 2.1.1.1.1.1

              It's possible @ Goz that the residents of Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki might be grateful if they could somehow be excommunicated from all that daily commuting grind of the masses – especially when some pillock consumed by the need to check their social media or missed call causes some snarl-up, death or road closure

              Won't be too long before all youse icky people are able to stick to the new improved highway to heaven cutting through the ranges.

              Choice eh?

            • KJT 2.1.1.1.1.2

              What will happen in reality is that, just like in West Auckland, the new road will result in several hundred thousand people moving out of the miserable hole that is Wellington central. So that in ten years congestion on both the old and new road will be worse than it is now. Feeding into the insoluble problem of parking and congestion in Wellington central, and causing demands for yet another new road.

              Spending similar amounts on rail avoids much of those problems, and still allows Wellington commuters to live in more pleasant places.

              • Gosman

                "… several hundred thousand people moving out of the miserable hole that is Wellington central"

                 

                Ummm…. you really have no idea of Wellington do you? Wellington central hasn't got hundreds of thousands of people living in it and is certainly no miserable hole.

        • mauī 2.1.1.2

          Bypassing around the built up areas probably would have been a better arterial route and a whole lot cheaper than building an additional motorway.

          • Dukeofurl 2.1.1.2.1

            Its Wellington, the Transmission gully route is the only by pass  available to coastal communities, which then by passes Porirua area  after leaving the gully.

            The concept is right , just  not tolling it isnt. However passenger trains make a better option, maybe some congestion charge  for cars to 'enter Wellington'

          • Gosman 2.1.1.2.2

            Ummm… have you ever been to Wellington? Transmission gully is really the only way you can bypass around the built up areas.

            • mauī 2.1.1.2.2.1

              Umm.. all they needed to do was widen the existing SH1 and get around the existing townships on the map. They are small towns to bypass, and that's a hell of a lot easier task than the complex engineering exercise of T Gully.

              • Alice Tectonite

                How would you get round Mana & Plimmerton without reclaiming part of the harbour? (And without just bulldozing through)

                • mauī

                  In Mana have the highway run through where the rail line is now, and shift the rail to the left of it into the park. You would have to reclaim more land at the north end of Mana, but the rail is already on reclaimed land anyway.

                  Plimmerton, use the current alignment, but might need to bulldoze the 10 houses south of the Palmers Garden store to get a bit of extra width / buffer through that area.

                  • Gosman

                    That is not bypassing the built up area. It is just making the existing road right through the middle of it bigger.

                    • mauī

                      Transmission sounds more like your kind of thing, you can throw money down the drain duplicating critical infrastructure and bypass everything.

                      "That is not bypassing the built up area"

                      Stupidity… I've taken the Mana road from running through the main street to around the outside.

                    • Gosman

                      But it still goes right through the heart of Plimmerton.

      • Dukeofurl 2.1.2

        Road  pavements  are  designed for trucks and  almost all of the maintenance costs  are due to them. However its the volume of cars which leads to most new highways. Trucks are  quite low volume but they can peak at certain times. I once lived on the main route from Mt Maunganui to  Rotorua and central North Island. while plenty trucks especially logging, cars predominated.

        In the central north island there are some  wonderful roads which mostly arent state highways that were built as part of the Waikato river hydro projects of the 1960s. Apart from being a bit narrow for modern standards they  dont show any wear   and tear – and arent  infested with the volume of cars

      • alwyn 2.1.3

        How about charging the passengers on the proposed Auckland/Hamilton trains the full cost of their trips? I believe that they are going to charge $12/trip. Why not the $150 or so that would probably be the full cost?

        According to this report the cost of the 5 year trial is about $80 million. Suppose they average, over the 5 years, the number they are using as an estimate for year 3 of 103,000.

        https://teaomaori.news/first-peek-new-hamilton-auckland-train

        That will make the cost of each trip about $155.

        I really can't be bothered costing this any more accurately. Whatever the number works out as it will be vastly greater than the fare charged. Good Greenies, and economically illiterate Lefties in general don't of course care. Nineteenth Century transport, like trains and trams are just so wonderful

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.3.1

          "Nineteenth Century transport, like trains and trams are just so wonderful"

          The first shoes were invented long before the nineteenth century. Should we mock their use because they aren't a 21st Century invention?

          • Dukeofurl 2.1.3.1.1

            Rail transport  goes way back to ancient times , much  further than 19th century , they were wooden rails and  hauled by animals.

             One from the 15th century still exists

            "In 1515, Cardinal Matthäus Lang wrote a description of the Reisszug, a funicular railway at the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Austria. The line originally used wooden rails and a hemp haulage rope and was operated by human or animal power, through a treadwheel.[8] The line still exists and is operational, although in updated form and is possibly the oldest operational railway" Wikipedia

            Of course  steam trains are so 19th century …. indeed, and no longer used. Modern forms of trains  can carry passengers faster than cars and bigger loads and cheaper than trucks ( for many trips- imagine  the  labour savings !)

        • KJT 2.1.3.2

          You forgot to factor in the savings in roads, imported cars and carbon emissions which the trains will make.

          Typical right winger, unable to add and subtract.

          • alwyn 2.1.3.2.1

            I did say I couldn't be bothered doing a proper evaluation on such a silly project.

            Tell me, when you complain about the cost of Transmission Gully have you put in, as a benefit, the reduced pollution that will occur in all the built up areas along the existing SH1?

            I'm sure you will tell us about the improved health in Porirua, Paremata, Mana and Pukekura Bay won't you?

            And of course you will value the reduced travel time for all the people travelling along the route. Let us know what the numbers are.

            • In Vino 2.1.3.2.1.1

              When it comes to being utterly silly, can any of you explain to me how we all avoid complete gridlock over the years as we stupidly add far more vehicles to our roads each year than we take off?

              Not even National's road-mania programme would have coped.

              As a society, we seem to have no brains when it comes to roads, – we just keep piling more traffic onto them and wonder why we get traffic jams.

            • KJT 2.1.3.2.1.2

              You are complaining about the cost of the Hamilton train. Where the cost to the country per passenger, even with no fares, is not only cheaper than transmission gully. It also saves billions in widening roads.

              A transmission gully rail line to new greenfields suburbs makes much more sense than more roads, as does encouraging industry into smaller towns where land, transport and infrastructure is underutilized.

          • Alice Tectonite 2.1.3.2.2

            Some right wingers are good at addition & subtraction. Especially the addition of wealth to the rich while subtracting it from the poor

        • Dukeofurl 2.1.3.3

          The annual operating cost is around $2 mill. Most of that $80 mill is capital costs for changes to stations and such.

          Transmission gully, based on the reported $125 mill  per year  charge the government  will pay to cover the capital cost and maintenance, will work out to be $15 per vehicle per trip .

          Do you think The motorists will be paying for a full cost recovery  toll ?

          Dont know what so precious about Wellington drivers that they dont get to pay when those in Auckland and Northland have to pay a toll for a similar road on the outskirts – which also has  free 'coastal' route option.

          Maybe NZTA being based in Wellington is making a decision based on the self interest of its senior staff?

          • alwyn 2.1.3.3.1

            You seem to be suggesting that for the Auckland Hamilton route the only thing that matters is the annual operating cost. The rest is only capital cost and doesn't count.

            Then for Transmission Gully you want to cover the Capital and Operating costs.

            Is that really what you mean to say? If not what is your cost of capital for the Auckland Hamilton train service? And what would you charge for maintenance of the line, stations, train etc? Surly you want to compare like with like when comparing projects?

            Or don't you because it shows the foolishness of using trains for passenger transport in this country?

            • Enough is Enough 2.1.3.3.1.1

              Take the economics out of it for a minute, and consider the actual demand. The Hamilton Auckland passenger train will only work if you can get from CBD to CBD in substantially less time than you would driving.

              Nobody is proposing anything that comes remotely close to that. It is looking like we will be getting a slow train to Pukekohe, then swapping trains and getting on the Auckland commuter lines.

              When you finally get to Britomat, you will probably have to Uber to where you need to be.

              I am yet to meet anyone who will leave the car at home to take up this proposed option.

              • alwyn

                I am sure you are right.

                However I didn't want to get too far from the original topic of this post, which was on the economics, or otherwise, of Transmission Gully. If people are going to judge that project by one set of standards I think it only reasonable that they be the same set of standards that are used for every transport project.

                In the same way I consider it fair to look at the ridiculous cycle way projects that are, apparently going ahead in Wellington. If Transmission Gully is supposed to be foolish what does that say about the totally ridiculous plan for a $100 million pathway for pedestrians and bicycles from Ngauranga to Petone?

                • Enough is Enough

                  Agreed

                • lprent

                  Perhaps a link would help to convince people to have a look at it. Right now I’m a complete sceptic that you’re representing whatever the project is correctly.

                  For a starter I can’t think of a way that a project like that could cost 100 million unless of course most of it was buying land. Which would seem to be unlikely as they’re usually run alongside existing roads or over public land and paths.

                  They aren’t the kind of projects that require lots of earth moving or deep bedded road foundations. It is usually a strip of concrete.

                  Ok – here we go…

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/111987243/nzta-approves-funding-for-shared-walkway-and-cycleway-between-petone-and-ngauranga

                  Designs for the pathway have yet to be finalised, but the seaside track – which will run alongside the railway line – will include a sea wall to protect the line and the adjacent State Highway 2.

                  Ah – that explains the most of the cost. Building seawalls is bloody expensive.

                  The roughly six-kilometre track would require land reclamation, and the track would also be used as an alternative route for emergency services vehicles if the highway became blocked, Genter said.

                  Reclaiming land is expensive. Building it for vehicles is expensive.

                  Ok – so that explains the bill.

                  The Ngauranga-to-Petone section, which is expected to cost between $76 million and $94m, will form part of the Great Harbour Way around Wellington Harbour between Owhiro Bay and Eastbourne.

                  Basically you’re full of bullshit. I suspect that if I looked at the cost justifications for this project – most of it has to do with providing protection for the rail and roadway from both the sea and in the event of earthquakes or slips on the roadway. Allowing emergency vehicles is a high benefit, which was also much of the justification for Transmission Gully.

                  Personally, I’d just demolish the Wellington and Hutt as just being completely unsafe – it’d be cheaper. From a geophysical viewpoint it is about the most stupid location in NZ to have a city that is possible. The only one that would be worse is to have it in the alpine fault.

                  Just as most of the reason for transmission

                  • New view

                    I’m with your line  of thinking with the paragraph starting (basically you’re full of bullshit). Any alternative route out of Wellington in the event of an earthquake will be part of the thinking behind this project. The possibility of a further connection to the Hutt in the area of the old transmission gully road will be in the thinking I’m sure. Everyone bangs on about cost but to me that’s mindless bullshit. This project is needed. Anyone with an eye for the future should be able to see this. I have lived in Hawke’s Bay a long time but was born and grew up in Wellington. I think a reasonably priced toll would be fine. Even a buck each way would raise a lot of money over time. 

                    • alwyn

                      Um. The project he was talking about in that paragraph was the cycle/walkway which will be between the existing Hutt road and the sea. It certainly isn't an "alternative" to the Hutt road is it? After all it will be within about 20 meters of the current SH2 (the Hutt Road), that goes from Wellingto to the Hutt, for its full length.

                      You then continue by saying "The possibility of a further connection to the Hutt in the area of the old transmission gully road will be in the thinking I’m sure".

                      Sorry but it WAS in the thinking when we had a rather more sensible Government than the current mob. Their was a plan to build a Petone/ Grenada link road, which would have provided a link between Transmission Gully and the Hutt. Under National it was planned that construction would have started this year.

                      At the time of this press release it said "The project, estimated at $250-270m, is supported by all councils in the Wellington region, and ranked as the region’s third highest transport priority."

                      https://www.nzta.govt.nz/media-releases/petone-to-grenada-link-road-one-step-closer-as-preferred-route-confirmed/

                      Well, the anti-car, pro bicycle, Greens didn't like the idea of building anything that cars might use so, when they became part of this Government, it was scrapped. The Melling interchange was scrapped at the same time. So much for making the roads safer when they do that.

                      They might be going to think about it in another 10 years the NZTA now says. So I guess that at best something everyone in Wellington, including the Area's Labour MP are in favour of, is being pushed off into the never-never to keep Ms Genter happy.

                      http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=117839 

                      You certainly don't seem to actually think very favourably about what the current Government is up to do you?

                    • New view []

                      Alwyn. Calm down. Governments come and go. I’m a Nat by nature. Forget your politics for a second and think about what my comment actually says instead of picking holes in it. I’m saying the highway is needed and future alternative routes out of Wellington would have been part of the thought process because of earthquake risk. You are correct but I was thinking of the big picture. The whole Wellington area is susceptible to earthquake and slips not just the road between Wellington and the Hutt. Don’t try to teach me to suck eggs about Wellington I was born there. I Know the present Government has put parts of the project on hold and I think they are fuckwits because of it.  I just know that the whole alternative roading system is needed and will be completed eventually. If you don’t agree that’s fine. One thing we do agree on is that in my opinion Genter is looser. 

                  • alwyn

                    "I suspect that if I looked at the cost justifications for this project ".

                    Frankly I suspect that if you looked at the cost justifications you would find that they were, at best, a lot of mealy-mouthed platitudes to try and explain away the ridiculous cost of a stupid idea. Why don't you have a look and see if there is any truth in your clearly strongly held opinion?

                    As far as your opinion on a seawall is concerned they haven't had, or required anything like it in the time since it was built. It reached the Hutt in 1874 after all so it seems to have survived pretty well without one.

                    As for emergency vehicles. Do you really think that the 4 lane highway will become completely impassable by any vehicle but the 5 metre wide cycle/walkway will be sitting there and passable by vehicles? Really?

                    There is an existing cycle lane there already of course. It would be about 1.5 to 2 meters wide I would think but cyclists seldom use it. Like most cycle ways in Wellington it is scorned by the Lycra-clad fraternity. I came in from the Hutt this evening at about 5.30 pm. There was one cyclist using the cycleway and 8 using the highway on the stretch from Ngauranga to Petone. It was a beautiful fine calm evening That would be the total cycle traffic for a period of about half an hour for the times they would have departed from Ngauranga. Not much used is it?

                    As far as your opinions on the benefits of this foolish scheme go I fear I must conclude you are full of the proverbial. I am far to polite to say so quite so bluntly though.

                     

                  • Alice Tectonite

                    Largely correct about the seawall. I understand building it to take vehicles allows construction while rail remains operational. Last time there was a major washout along that section it came quite close to cutting into the southbound carriageway (& would've if the storm hadn't abated when it did).

                    Geohazards: many NZ towns & cities are built in unsuitable locations. Most people just live in happy ignorance…

                    • Christchurch, quakes & floods
                    • Wellington, quakes & slope failures plus Hutt floods
                    • Auckland, scattergun volcanic field, no apparent pattern spatially or temporally (plus signs of relatively recent active on the Kerepehi Fault less than 50km from downtown)

                    Then there's the megathrust that makes large parts of the east coast unsuitable, and the North Island fault system, and the TVZ rifting plus supervolcanoes, etc, etc…

                    The more you know the more hazardous NZ looks

                    • lprent

                      The more you know the more hazardous NZ looks

                      Tell me about it. I started my tertiary education with an earth science degree at waikato whilst also looking at civil defense from several aspects. Doesn't matter where you look in NZ, it is pretty hairy. After you've looked through the wash deposits in Hamilton from several Taupo eruptions or that interesting caldera that ChCh calls a harbour or the origins of Dunedin peninsula and Dunedin itself.

                      I like Auckland. Like the whole of the northland area it has only had basaltic eruptions, few really large faults as it is so far from the southern alpine faults or the corkscrew faults of the cook strait region and the faults running up east cost to Opotiki..

                      Nice little basalt cones that give a lot of warning… Doesn't scare like the rest of NZ does. 

                       

                       

                • KJT

                  If you look at total costs, rail in Wellington makes a lot more sense, than building ever more road lanes to feed ever more cars into the city center.

                  • Dukeofurl

                    Yes. And the original idea of Transmission Gully would provide  resilience against landslides on the coastal route.

                    Well the  construction  costs blowout by the contractors showed they vastly under- estimated the gradient of  cuts required in the  main route.

                    My feeling is that its only enough to get it done and it will continue to be unstable for generations to come . 

                    I wonder if the private finance consortium  will still be on the hook for the land slip clearance every winter and every earthquake ? or will they walk away after a  'big one'- as they are prone to do.

        • KJT 2.1.3.4

          Every truck trip down transmission gully is going to cost at least 10 times what they pay in road user charges. But righties don't care. So long as a right wing politician gets his/her directorship in a trucking firm.

        • mauī 2.1.3.5

          Bizarre that you wouldn't target cars first? Being that they make up the vast majority of transport trips…

          • Sam C 2.1.3.5.1

            I find it really weird that you wouldn't toll this road.  To say that too many would use the alternative route ignores the fact that the alternative route is an absolute dog.

            At say $3 a vehicle per trip, I would have thought most private passenger vehicle drivers would be more than happy to fork out for such a hassle free journey.

            • greywarshark 2.1.3.5.1.1

              For there and back if it was $4 it would be acceptable to most motorists and affordable for low-income.   

              It should be tolled as a reminder that the roads are costly to put in, costly to maintain, are not going to be practicable for much longer for private cars, and are just a stop gap till we can organise better transport systems that meet the needs of people in a changed world.    The money collected could be spent on maintenance, finding ways of keeping traffic flowing after accidents.   Go into regular small helpful messages, like don't hold your cellphone while driving and say to callers 'I'm driving so could you be brief and state time I can phone you back'.    Another would be don't change lanes without indicating and looking at the blind spots beside your car on both left and right.   Also do not tailgate, leave a couple of car lengths at the front of you.   And at roundabouts slow slightly to about 35 kmh which gives the seconds that allow other vehicles to move forward from their queue.

              Better and more thoughtful driving would keep the traffic flowing, and a little less speed and a little more courtesy would often result in quicker journeys because of better integration of traffic.

              • Sam C

                Impossible to argue with any of that.

                • greywarshark

                  What – someone agrees with me?   I thought your point was good also.   And also I think we should remember that nothing is going to provide the perfect answer.   There is a possibility that some will choose to go by the untolled road.   That is expected human behaviour and shouldn't be a reason not to have the toll road for the majority.

                  Thought – every time a suggestion to deal with something in a practical way is raised, someone will always counter it with a 'but' of this kind.    'We can't raise tax because the wealthy will find better ways to get round it', is an example of an argument that I find lackadaisical.

              • Chris T

                "It should be tolled as a reminder that the roads are costly to put in, costly to maintain, are not going to be practicable for much longer for private cars, and are just a stop gap till we can organise better transport systems that meet the needs of people in a changed world. "

                Are electric cars going to float in mid air now then?

                • KJT

                  They will combine as a train on rail lines, as they do now in a couple of cities in Europe Rails being much less space hungry, and cheaper than roads.

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.3.6

          Nineteenth Century transport, like trains and trams are just so wonderful

          The private automobile is a 19th Century invention.  For trains, think 18th Century.  I'm not sure why right-wingers are so obsessed with which century a thing was invented in, but it's a very odd criterion to value.  Skateboards and Segways are much more recent inventions, shouldn't you all be using those instead of those 19th Century automobiles?

          • Alice Tectonite 2.1.3.6.1

            Surely they should be using hovercrafts (+/- eels) or some other modern thing as the wheel was invent thousands of years ago 

  3. PB 3

    And still the good folk of Northland pay a toll for the road south.  Are we the only ones who pay for our road?

    • greywarshark 3.1

      When travelling on it recently I thought I saw an alternative road for the Northland toll part.   Was I mistaken?

      • KJT 3.1.1

        There is, but as it adds 3/4 of an hour to the normally two hour trip few use it.

        There is actually more justification for improving Auckland Whangarei than transmission gully, which simply gets more civil servants into central Wellington, who could be based elsewhere. Whangarei Auckland removing a lot of the truck traffic onto an upgraded rail line would save at least half an hour. As much as building a highway. Invariably you get stuck behind a line of trucks passing each other on the Brynderwyns.

    • Ad 3.2

      They could still add more with each new section towards the Brynderwyns. 

  4. Wayne 4

    So it is terrible that Transmission Gully is not tolled but ok that Waikato Expressway is not. Hardly a consistent position to take. 

    The reality is that NZ has an inchoate tolling policy. Tolls on the Puhoi road, tolls on the Tauranga Expressway but none anywhere else. 

    For a comparison, there is  an alternative to the Puhoi motorway, but few take it. So much easier to use the motorway. And I suspect that would be the reality of Transmission Gully. People might say now they would use an alternative, but I reckon in practise they would use it at a cost of $2.60 (being the same as Puhoi Expressway).

    Transmission Gully will be a huge improvement, and given Wellington’s vulnerability, it makes sense to have an effective and safe alternative.

     

    • Ad 4.1

       

      You will be aware from legislation your own government passed that tolls are considered on a case by case basis. 

      NZ has inchoate legislation: there's no definition of "alternative route". 

      A highway along a fault line is not the best form of insurance against an earthquake. 

      John Key promised it would "save" 40 minutes. The end result never matches up. 

  5. Adrian 5

    One day it will look like the cleverest and ironicly cheapest, decision made when the Magnitude 7.5+  hits and getting anything in and out of Wellington in two helicopters is the only option when the only two roads existing are very very vulnerable.

  6. A 6

    They could always add a toll later.  The first few sentences made an excellent point.

    • Ad 6.1

      This is final for this government. 

      NZTA have considered it and rejected it multiple times already. 

  7. hoom 7

     transport flow modeling shows that if priced, too many would simply use the alternative state highway route.

    I look forward to the same logic being applied to Public Transport charging yes

    Currently NZTa requires 50% of PT operating cost to be 'recovered' by ticket charges regardless of its negative impact on patronage, the large greenhouse gas & congestion savings from moving people on PT rather than cars.

    • Graeme 7.2

      Currently NZTa requires 50% of PT operating cost to be 'recovered' by ticket charges regardless of its negative impact on patronage

      Not quite correct, we have a $2.00 bus fare, anywhere, in Queenstown, subsidised / underwritten by district and regional councils with a bit thrown in by NZTA.  And it's doing the deed in moving people out of their cars.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/90681701/queenstown-2-bus-fare-proposal-will-be-paid-for-with-significant-rates-hike

      https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/queenstown/bus-use-soars-queenstown

      Although in our case NZTA got dragged screaming and kicking as the only option with Frankton Road (effectively the only road into town) was to reduce traffic volumes as any upgrade wasn't possible almost irrespective of cost due to topographic constraints. 

      Unfortunately no park and ride options, same issue way too expensive, but previous QLDC under current NZTA board member V. Van Uden allowed a proposed and excavated under ground car park at 5 Mile (Hendo's Hole) to be mostly filled in to save the new developer money.  Henderson had proposed this as a park and ride to swing the consent with the council previous to Van Uturn's

  8. Sacha 8

    BCR is 0.6, construction is $1b, so that's $400m flushed before a single vehicle even uses it (https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2010/01/07/transmission-gully-bcr-of-0-6/)

    and the full PPP cost over 25 years is $3b (https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2013/03/05/my-issue-with-the-transmission-gully-ppp/)

    So the public pays 5x the 'benefit' (which includes 'time savings'). Nice rort!

    • KJT 8.1

      But. Some National party MP's will get a directorship with trucking firms.

      And don't forget the trucking, and road building lobbies, party donations.

    • KJT 8.2

      Don't forget the extra lanes required ten years down the track, as new subdivisions grow at Foxton.

      Providing commuter highways is like filling a leaking bucket.

      Compare to Melbourne. At least when I lived there years ago. The decision was made to spend on public transport rather than ever more motorways. Then you could go almost anywhere in the city for $2 all day, on fast efficient trains and trams.

      The lack of road congestion compared to Auckland and Wellington was apparent, even then.

  9. Sacha 9

    Joyce will be hoping this lack of tolls sets a precedent for his Puhoi holiday highway, a lavish gift for the landbankers of Matakana from our pockets. Imagine the gratitude!

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