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6 comments:

  1. Alana, 27. April 2013, 22:27

    This is an excellent, careful analysis – and is anyone from NZTA, or City Council able to comment? Wellington geography and size simply prohibits large scale motorways through it – the only alternative is public transport, and light rail should be a priority.

     
  2. Guy, 28. April 2013, 9:21

    I’m really disappointed to hear this. The city has a lot riding on this study. We were hoping for a good, strong, non-partisan examination of the issues of light rail, and I thought that the idea of a 3-year, $1million examination by external consultations would be the fair review that the subject needed. It is due back with the final report “in April” so the city is sitting here, waiting, in anticipation of the release within the next day or two.

    There are some real issues alive here. Light rail, and dedicated bus ways, are expensive systems to install. Financially, the odds are going to be stacked against either of these systems being implemented, given that we are a city of only 200,000 people. But overseas, cities as small as 100,000 have successfully implemented light rail, or trams, and it should be remembered that cities traditionally had trams with far lower populations – Napier had a tram system pre-earthquake when the population was just over 15,000. But the cost of installing systems is so much larger now, which is why the impartiality of this report is so crucial.

    If it is a fair assessment, and has covered the bases, and comes back with a definite answer based on facts, then I am prepared to accept the ruling and their recommendations. But if it appears to be biased, or has been deliberately stacked, or politically influenced, then it is worthless.

     
  3. Elaine Hampton, 29. April 2013, 7:33

    Sounds like more consultation theater.
    How many ‘civilians’ and how many ‘so called experts’?
    Small cities, smaller and not capital cities like ours which sets itself up as a ‘destination’ have excellent public transport. The inertia that repeats the mantra that we are too small, the population is too low etc becomes self fulfilling. A million dollars is used up. And public transport in Wellington, which is going to be so important as oil becomes so much more expensive, is not going to be fit for the purpose.
    But we will have a huge expensive concrete useless road of national stupidity bisecting the heart of our city.

     
  4. Luke Troy, 29. April 2013, 16:38

    Just to give a regional perspective:

    The Public Transport Spine Study takes its lead directly from the Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan. This multi-modal plan examined the future transport needs of this whole corridor and concluded that the spine through central Wellington from the central railway station to the regional hospital should be investigated with the intention of a step change to a high quality PT service. It is worth noting that the Corridor Plan saw the PT Spine as part of a long-term staged approach to improving PT, including upgrades to the Johnsonville line, bus priority measures in the CBD and bus priority measures on arterial routes.

    The public transport route through central Wellington is the most heavily used in the region and is a route used for key journeys to and within the Wellington City CBD. Improvements to this crucial part of the public transport network are being considered in the context of the regional public transport plan and the significant ongoing investment in our region’s heavy rail network.

    The study is still being completed and the final report is planned to be released in mid-June. A report on alternative funding options for a high quality public transport spine will also be released around the same time.

    There’ll be plenty of time for us all to debate the findings then.

     
  5. Cr Paul Bruce, 1. May 2013, 13:39

    Thanks Brent for hanging in there. Other cities of comparable size, such as Freyberg, show how well light rail integrates into a public and active mode transport system.

    I have been a strong advocate for light rail for 20 years, especially for use on the Johnsonville line, and was disappointed that GW made a decision to use the new Matangi on this line, which required an expensive upgrade of the tunnels, and as it turns out squeaky wheels and slippage and a less reliable service to what they replaced.

    GW Officers have advised Councillors that they believe the problem of slippage and squeaky wheels can be fixed. I have given them the benefit of doubt up until now, but am no longer convinced, and would like GW to consider a return to smaller wheel base trains in the form of light rail which can then also be extended through the city to Newtown and Kilbirnie along the high density route, providing much needed relief from Bus congestion in the Golden Mile and extra capacity for growth in patronage.

     
  6. Ross Clark, 2. May 2013, 23:44

    As the old quote goes, “Follow the money”. My guess is that the city and regional councils have abandoned the idea of light rail because even if it were recommended, the Feds are not interested in paying for it, and there’s no way the City, or even the City+Region, can. Or would, for that matter.

    Another issue is that the main justification for public transport investment is journey-to-work flows; outside that market, public transport’s role is not that great. While there are traffics which go /around/ the city centre (eg. Newtown-Lower Hutt), very little of it is for work journeys, and in a New Zealand context public transport would struggle, I judge, to secure much of this market.