So Auckland is more congested?
I think that would already feel most obvious to commuters in Auckland but the question is why? And is this survey to be followed by the usual calls for public transport?
I have friends who have commented in the last few months that their work commutes have suddenly changed in terms of trip time.
Last year they were taking around 25-30 minutes on average but this year are finding that those trip movements have jumped significantly to 45 minutes and upto an hour for a cross town trip from East Auckland towards the airport.
What caught my attention is that they followed their observations with a cynical comment that their increased trip times have coincided with Auckland Council’s Long Term Plan survey on transport.
And that is an interesting observation. Why such a dramatic change in trip time in such a relatively short period of time?
Quite apart from the fact that fuel prices are a lot lower these days than they were two years ago which makes driving your own car more affordable it seems that the traffic issues are not all equal. The motorway still flows at about the same trip times as it did a few years ago.
So that’s off motorway times that are affected. Weird isn’t it? The motorway should be equally as affected. And it is not. But then Council doesn’t control how those roads work because it’s NZTA’s jurisdiction.
Whilst a conspiracy at this time what their observations do is raise is a question of whether Auckland Transport – under instruction from its pay master – has been fiddling with the traffic signals across the city to make traffic worse at the most opportune time…. when Council is conducting a survey on transport for future expenditure reasons.
Is such an idea far fetched? Not really.
A few years ago Auckland Council ran about trumpeting growth figures for rail patronage. “Look” they said “rail use is increasing massively – we can start work on the CRL”. But it hadn’t increased much at all. What AT had done was redirected bus routes so that they terminated at rail stations forcing a two stage trip – transferring passengers to trains. The boost was engineered. The actual growth rates when bus redirections were removed – was virtually nil.
Auckland Council wants rail to succeed. It has a legacy of sneaky furtive and underhanded tactics. Aucklanders certainly don’t trust them.
So are my friend is right in posing that the increase in traffic congestion might be the result of meddling by Auckland Transport? Who knows. But it’s possible.
I have no doubt whatsoever that Whaleoil’s friend is on the right track. Auckland Transport planners have one singular objective, to move as many people as they can away from cars and onto public transport or cycles. Many, if not most, Auckland Transport planners are UN Agenda 21 activists which means they are philosophically driven by a hatred of cars because they use fossil fuels. In other words they are Greens with either a capital or small ‘g’. That is why uneconomic schemes like Skypath, a cycle and pedestrian bridge over Auckland harbour, ostensibly a private enterprise but underwritten by the ratepayer, and the City Rail Link are promoted.
Their, often malign, influence was one of the biggest eye-openers for me when I was an elected representative on the first Waiheke Local Board. I could cite many examples but I’ll give just one relating to transport planning on Waiheke.
There has been an urgent need to increase the amount of car parking at Matiatia, the island’s transport hub. It took three years to get Auckland Transport to focus on a solution. When they did focus this was their solution, do nothing and force people to take public transport or cycle. That is why nothing is getting done or will get done at Matiatia. Meanwhile traffic chaos increases at ‘peak’ times, tempers get frayed, and public safety is put at risk.