Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Someone has to be accountable for this

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  • Nat,

    While we're on the subject of $$ has anyone else noticed how much Mark Ford is being paid at the ATA? It says $540k here but I am pretty sure it was more like $650k in a super city brochure thingy we got in the mail. I reckon at that price he should be able to pull an IT system out of his hat. Or from somewhere anyway.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Rod Oram has superb analysis of Auckland's city rail link situation, including the politics - if you're going to read only one article about it, I recommend this one. Here are some of the core numbers:

    In fact, the council and its consultants have done plenty of work on the alternatives and judged them to be highly unsatisfactory compared with the rail loop.

    They reckon that an Auckland population of 2.2 million would result in another 500,000 vehicles if we stick to our existing road-dominant investment in transport.

    But where would they go? Once the western link and Victoria Park tunnel are complete, there's no room left to build new or expanded motorways in the central isthmus.

    Moreover, current rapid growth in passenger rail (from 2.5 million passengers in 2003 to 8.5 million this year) means Britomart's limit as a dead-end station of 21 trains an hour will be reached in 2013.

    Similarly, there is a practical limit of 100 buses per hour per bus lane downtown. Some lanes are about to hit the limit. All the existing and planned ones will hit it by 2020.

    Building a rail loop to open up Britomart, however, would allow up to 60 trains an hour. This would help maximise the existing 200km of passenger rail lines by, for example, allowing better bus services to local rail stations rather than running most services into the city centre. This would reduce the number of buses coming in from the west, allowing more buses to come from the north where there is no rail alternative.

    Without the rail loop and allied reorientation of bus routes to train stations, the downtown bus volumes become horrendous, according to analysis done for the council last year on the impact of the next harbour crossing.

    It concluded that the number of buses using Fanshawe St during the peak morning rush would rise from 86 per hour today to 246 per hour in 2041; from 77 per hour to 245 per hour on Albert St; and from 106 per hour to 318 per hour on Symonds St by the university.

    Could any of the streets cope with a bus every 10-15 seconds?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Hmmm, he seems to have missed the point that the methodologies used by Auckland compare pretty favourably with the methodologies used by NZTA to justify the RoNS and vice versa. Or he's just not labouring it, I don't know.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    just not labouring it

    Others have made that case elsewhere, so perhaps.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    methodologies used by NZTA to justify the RoNS

    you are being ironic, surely? their efforts to rationally justify this roading madness is almost non-existent. and there have been no "reviews" allowed, either (the one review done by overseas consultants was buried because it rubbished NZTA's BCRs).

    tokyo • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to stephen walker,

    the one review done by overseas consultants was buried because it rubbished NZTA’s BCRs

    I know, I was one of the people who unearthed it and sent it to Oram. It's called the SAHA report and you can compare it to the "massaged" final report that was only commissioned after the Official Information Act request for the first one.

    It didn't exactly rubbish the BCR's - it showed that, even with the most optimistic of assumptions, they weren't very high and some were actually negative UNLESS you lumped them all together and let the 3 that were very positive (including the Victoria Park tunnel which was under way before the RoNS were ever heard of, so WTF?) haul the average up for the rest. That's why Joyce and NZTA keep talking about the RoNS as a single project. Yet we haven't seen any consultation on the RoNS as a single project, and each individual road has to go through a separate consents process.

    It also used some very new methodologies for analysis that are still a little controversial overseas. To be fair to SAHA, they did put in caveats in the first report which NZTA have roundly ignored, though I note that those have mostly disappeared in the second report. There's an analysis of the discrepancies on our website by a former chief economist for the Commerce Commission, Dr Mike Pickford. (sorry, it's a Word docx file. Trust me, I'm working on that)

    My point is that the SAHA report used the same sort of methodologies as the Auckland rail business case, which Joyce rubbished while celebrating the Economic Evaluation Manual approach. The EEM was pretty much ignored in the development of the business cases for the RONS, The irony is that Joyce loves the method that gives him the nearest answer to what he's already decided to do. Pick'n'mix politics.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    the Victoria Park tunnel which was under way before the RoNS were ever heard of, so WTF?

    Much like the Auckland rail network improvement programme, which Joyce is claiming as proof that his spending is balanced rather than obsessed with roads. And this from the plonker who has just halved the already modest budget nationwide for rail stations, bus shelters and other public transport infrastructure.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker, in reply to nzlemming,

    thanks.

    tokyo • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to stephen walker,

    No probs. As one of the bloody RoNS was going through my living room but will now be going behind my back fence, I'm pretty incensed by them. NZTA's role in the duplicity around these is remarkable.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

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