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Transport Announcements Won't Solve Congestion

Wed, 25 Aug 2004

Today's Two Major Transport Announcements Will Not Solve Auckland's Traffic Congestion Problem Which Is Fast-Approaching Crisis Level

The coincidence of two announcements on the same day relating to Auckland's traffic problems opens up the opportunity for a realistic assessment of some key issues in the ongoing and pointless battle between the 'roads' lobby and the 'public transport' lobby.

The revised proposal for the Eastern Motorway reveals a total lack of understanding of Auckland's traffic problems. A two-lane highway makes as much sense as the decisions on the original Harbour Bridge in the 1950s - not enough road space to cater for the additional traffic which new roads always attract.

And the lack of bus lanes betrays the original intention of providing adequate public transport alternatives to travel by car.

The Allen report commissioned by the AA is understandably very much pro-road - but at least giving priority to completion of the Western Ring route is absolutely 'spot on'.

Completion of that route would relieve pressure on SH1, which, together with the completion of Spaghetti Junction, will, in effect, give more road space for access from the South and East - thereby alleviating the pressure for an Eastern Motorway.

Solutions to Auckland's traffic woes can only be found in an acceptance that building new roads will take several years - with or without the RMA - and in the interim the immediate need is for the urgent provision of a realistic level of reliable public transport.


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