Rail pri­or­i­ties

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Mayor Len Brown’s new rail plan pri­or­i­ties are about half right.

Yes, first pri­or­ity should be an air­port rail link to the main line near Pa­p­a­toe­toe, cost­ing al­most half a bil­lion dollars.

And a cen­tral govern­ment pay­ing half is fair, be­cause Auck­land Air­port is the gate­way to New Zealand for over two-thirds of over­seas travel.

But Auck­land should as­sess other pub­lic trans­port pri­or­i­ties be­fore in­vest­ing an­other $1 bil­lion to com­plete the One­hunga to Air­port cir­cuit, cost­ing about $110m/km.

And the Cen­tral Rail Loop es­ti­mated at $2.86b is ex­tremely poor value at over $800m/km, and should be frozen un­til and un­less fi­nan­cially jus­ti­fied.

Busi­nesses are con­tin­u­ing to move out of the CBD, nearer to where staff live, and more res­i­dents are mov­ing to­wards more cen­tral high-den­sity hous­ing, closer to their jobs or study.

Only the Auck­land Coun­cil cen­tral plan­ners seem to be un­aware that Auck­land is grad­u­ally turn­ing in­side-out. down on the mo­tor­way near Mar­ket Rd, block­ing one north-bound lane, and re­sult­ing in the other two lanes mov­ing very slowly be­cause of rub­ber-neck­ing.

This meant that very lit­tle traf­fic was cross­ing the Newmarket viaduct.

How­ever, the on-ramp signals at Gil­lies Ave were up and run­ning, re­sult­ing in those long queues as usual.

It wasn’t as if the break­down had just hap­pened – there were two lane-man­age­ment truck with big ar­rows al­ready on the scene to pro­tect the truck and an at­tend­ing po­lice car.

I rang NZTA to in­quire why th­ese signals were op­er­at­ing when there was so lit­tle traf­fic that needed merg­ing with.

Their re­sponse, un­be­liev­ably, is that the Gil­lies Ave and Khy­ber Pass on-ramp signals now re­main on all day­time on week­days, re­gard­less of the traf­fic flow.

This means that they will slow Auck­lan­ders down, even when there is no other sec­tion to ben­e­fit from it.

I hear that those who man­age the mo­tor­way flows have no re­spon­si­bil­ity for traf­fic on any other road.

Surely this isn’t ac­cept­able to us road users, wast­ing our time – ie, the com­plete op­po­site of what they’re paid to do.

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