Friday, August 31, 2007

Getting the Busway 'blues', the politics and added pollution of public transport.

Sitting in the stationary traffic on the Northern motorway yesterday, I eyed up the valuable waste of space that is the Northern Busway, due open next February.
Surely for $290 million it would have been much more cost-effective to widen the motorway to dual-four lanes, hopefully as far as Albany, particularly replacing that nasty congestion-causing dual-two bridge at Wairau Park / Northcote.
But of course, where 'Greenery' and the Great God Gaia is concerned, reason is always thrown out of the window.
Never mind the fact that the socialist/ communist countries were/are the biggest environment disasters ever to appear on the planet, it seems that in the fight against 'global warming' we must give up our freedoms and do what Nanny State says- as if socialism will work at 19 degrees celsius when it didn't at 17 degrees.
Hence, were are being forced/ encouraged to use public transport. We also cannot have people thinking they can freely move about themselves in case they think and might demand and expect such freedoms in other spheres.
I recall some years back working in Scotland that the local council installed a few bus lanes and hey presto, with the roadspace halved it now took twice as long to get to work from one Aberdeen suburb to another. Other motorists similarly suffered and complained to the Labour council, who promptly replied they should use the bus. Think about it, you then take the bus into the city centre and then a bus back out again to another suburb. Hardly seems efficient to me.
I see similar thinking here. Yesterday, driving around Auckland CBD, I noted several new bus lanes which just seemed to add to the congestion as well as my confusion and frustration.
I am definately going to avoid the Auckland CBD when I can, as the City Council seems to be making it such an unfriendly place. Tough titties to the shops and other businesses that might want my custom. I will stick to Orewa or the new Westfield Albany centre in future.
The city council might be making Queen Street more 'pedestrian friendly' but it seems their efforts will kill off businesses by the score. Queen Street should be the country's shopping capital with 5 or more-level malls and ample multi-story parking, but instead 'Jaffas' prefer the ease of suburban malls while the heart of Auckland struggles. And all because of council infatuations with public transport and making life as difficult as possible for motorists.
It might be justifiable if such car-hating was actually environmentally friendly but it appears this is not the case. In Britain, the Liberal Democrats have this week proposed various anti-car measures, which is getting a sympathetic hearing from their limp-wristed Tories.
However, as UK Blogger Guido Fawkes notes, studies show car use is sometimes actually greener . There is also, of course, the hypocracy of politicians running around in big gas guzzlers while expecting the peasants to downsize, even if some switch to Pruis hybrids.


Matt Nolan said...

There is a whole range of studies on the relative environmental effects of different types of transport.

While I believe that the most efficient form of train and bus transport is better than a fleet of cars on the 'green scale', that isn't the trade-off NZ faces.

We have a whole load of inefficient imported cars and a whole load of crap, inefficient public transport.

As a result, it is hard to tell which type of transport is more efficient in NZ, they need to do some research.

Mike Graham said...

"Surely for $290 million it would have been much more cost-effective to widen the motorway to dual-four lanes..."
Maybe, but what would you do when the dual-four lanes fill up? The popularity of the park and ride at Albany shows that a lot of people are prepared to change the way they commute - and that leaves more room for those still traveling in cars.

Cactus Kate said...

WTF is a "busway"?

What gives a bus priority over a car?

I look forward to a National Day of Protest where cars en mass use this bright sparkling new road.

Anonymous said...

f.m (surely an 'in-joke' that one..?..seeing as yr posts are anything

"..I am definately going to avoid the Auckland CBD.."

(good idea..!


"..I will stick to Orewa or the new Westfield Albany centre in future.."

(y'know..!..that sorta 'fits'

i can see you are a man/woman of 'high culture'..

who will be well sustained by ..'orewa'..

or..'.the new westfield mall'

to each their own..?

carry on..!


Anonymous said...


one route everyone will avoid..