East and Bays Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

There were plenty of high­lights in Mon­day night’s New­shub lead­ers de­bate.

But there was one stand­out mo­ment which got ev­ery­one talk­ing. It came when Prime Min­is­ter Bill English said Auck­land was ‘‘cop­ing a lot bet­ter’’ now the Water­view Tun­nel was open. The re­mark was met with a mix­ture of cyn­i­cal laugh­ter and ap­plause.

Firstly, the Water­view Tun­nel was a pre­vi­ous Labour gov­ern­ment’s idea, although National were the ones to de­liver it.

Se­condly, Auck­land is not cop­ing a lot bet­ter now the tun­nel is open. The west­ern and south­ern mo­tor­ways are still grid­locked at peak hour and the main ar­te­rial roads are not much bet­ter.

What would help Auck­land cope a lot bet­ter is im­proved pub­lic trans­port ser­vices.

It seems English is look­ing at Auck­land’s traf­fic prob­lems with ‘‘tun­nel vi­sion’’, un­able to see that what Auck­lan­ders re­ally want is cheap and ef­fi­cient trans­port, like many other in­ter­na­tional cities have on of­fer.

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