It is heartening for me to see the good relationship I had established with Auckland Transport (AT) still bearing fruit around the island. As the transport portfolio holder on the last local board I worked co-operatively with Auckland Transport to improve the island’s roading infrastructure. Everyone has benefited - motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, bus users, commuters who park at Matiatia, and disability card holders.
The latest beneficiaries are the people of Waitai Rd who petitioned the former board for a safer road. Faye Storer and I visited several of the residents last July after which we began discussions with AT to see what improvements they could install to make it safer for pedestrians, especially as there’s an early childhood centre there. They obviously listened and put some money into the 2013/14 budget for the improvements now under way. I’m told by residents there that they are delighted with the results.
It’s a similar story with the bus landing pads being installed around the island. When I took office I was told there was no money for these. However, with the help of Don McKenzie, we identified the most needed stops and wrote a submission to Auckland Transport to make the case for concrete landing pads to make getting on and off buses safer. They listened and, in line with the former Board’s commitment to being a ‘BE Accessible’ board all bus users are benefiting.
At the same time as AT are undertaking these works they are improving stormwater management by the excellent expedient of putting in kerb and channel. The proof of the pudding for has been the work they did on Erua Rd after Cyclone Wilma in 2011. Water flowing down the hill from Erua Rd flooded businesses on the downside of Tahi Rd. Since the kerb and channel work undertaken later in 2011 the problem has been solved. It’s sad that dopey activists like Tony King-Turner and protest politicians like our current local board, who have no engineering or stormwater management qualifications, still try to disrupt the excellent work AT is doing to make the island a better place to live.
Lastly I’m pleased to see the road safety measures I discussed with AT’s engineers at the corner of Wharf Rd and the Causeway are almost finished.
Working closely with Auckland Transport was the most pleasurable part of being on the board. They were professional and had a ‘can do’ attitude that I didn’t come across in any other department of Council. Their qualifications were second to none and they were more than willing to sit around the table, listen to the concerns of various pressure groups, and make changes where they could to accommodate them.
There has been nothing positive for future roading infrastructure put forward by the current Board on their agenda over the last eight months. This means there will be nothing in the pipeline for another eighteen months. No new projects, no new footpaths, no new bus shelters or landing pads. AT will continue doing routine maintenance and road safety improvements without the Board’s input, but that’s as far as they will go.
With greatly increased rates demands soon to drop into letterboxes I wonder how many will think they are getting good value for money from their know nothing, do nothing elected members.