Solv­ing Auck­land’s prob­lems

There are only days to go un­til sub­mis­sions close on Auck­land’s pro­posed 10-year bud­get – the blue­print that will at­tempt to solve the city’s trans­port prob­lems. More than 6000 peo­ple have al­ready had their say, with a slight ma­jor­ity favour­ing a mo­tor­way

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

It’s been al­most a decade since Eileen Joy and her fam­ily moved into their West Auck­land home.

The daily com­mute jug­gling school, jobs, vol­un­teer work and study has all been part of life for the fam­ily-of­four.

They’ve watched Auck­land’s pop­u­la­tion grow and the traf­fic prob­lems get worse.

Auck­land Coun­cil is ask­ing res­i­dents how best to solve the is­sues.

The Ba­sic Trans­port Net­work would raise house­hold rates 3.5 per cent an­nu­ally but put less into trans­port projects.

Or the Auck­land Plan, which is a lot more ex­pen­sive, would re­ally put the squeeze on house­hold bud­gets and gives two sub­op­tions: Ei­ther a mo­tor­way toll of $2 dur­ing peak times, or an in­crease in rates and petrol tax.

Joy doesn’t like what she sees.

‘‘Tolls will un­fairly dis­ad­van­tage peo­ple in that wider belt,’’ the Glen Eden woman says. ‘‘Lower to mid­dlein­come fam­i­lies are be­ing squeezed in terms of time and cash.’’

Joy is a mo­tor­way user.

fre­quent

She con­tracts for the New Zealand Col­lege of Midwives and teaches par­ent­ing ed­u­ca­tion.

Joy is masters also study­ing a de­gree in so­cial work and vol­un­teers Youth­line in Pon­sonby.

And be­cause no bus ser­vices are avail­able to take her chil­dren to Kau­ri­lands Pri­mary School, she drops

at them off her­self.

‘‘Public trans­port would cost me more than driv­ing be­cause I’d have to put them into be­fore-school care.

‘‘It’s im­pos­si­ble to live in Auck­land with­out a car if you have chil­dren ... un­less you live in the wealth­ier ar­eas in the in­ner city loop which is well-ser­viced by public trans­port.’’

Joy’s hus­band Rory Chacko works at the air­port and a $2 mo­tor­way toll dur­ing peak times would cost the fam­ily at least $32 a week, or more than $1600 a year.

‘‘Fam­ily trips would suf­fer,’’ she says.

‘‘For ex­am­ple, we took the kids to the Lan­tern Fes­ti­val and paid for park­ing.

‘‘It sounds friv­o­lous but th­ese are the things that cre­ate mem­o­ries – some fam­i­lies now can’t even af­ford that.’’

Joy doesn’t like ei­ther of the op­tions cur­rently pro­posed.

She ad­mits the coun­cil is in a ‘‘tough place’’ but says it needs to change to more of a macro-level view of the sit­u­a­tion.

‘‘I’d like to see more public trans­port, not just routes that fo­cus on the city as the des­ti­na­tion – that is so nar­row-minded.

‘‘It helps a lot of whitecol­lar work­ers but not the blue-col­lar and ser­vice in­dus­try work­ers who work out of the city.’’

The Gov­ern­ment needs to take more re­spon­si­bil­ity for our largest city, Joy says.

‘‘I’m tired of: ‘ You live in Auck­land so you pay for it’.

‘‘As much as peo­ple like to think it’s just an Auck­land prob­lem, it’s not.

‘‘A lot of our busi­nesses and NGOs op­er­ate out of Auck­land.’’

Get­ting more peo­ple out of cars will mean that a bet­ter public trans­port sys­tem is needed, oth­er­wise peo­ple won’t change their ways, Joy says.

‘‘If I’m go­ing to sit in traf­fic for an hour, at least in the car I can eat my break­fast, lis­ten to the ra­dio and be com­fort­able.’’

Photo: JU­LIAN RAETHEL

Through­fare: Eileen Joy of Glen Eden thinks the mo­tor­way toll pro­posal is a bad idea.

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