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CBD transport emissions control


How entitled do we feel - less than younger people perhaps?
I’m not sure that’s true.

Certainly I feel entitled:
Entitled to a wholesome life in a warmish community - yes.
Entitled to clean air and water - yes.
Entitled to walk down any street safely - yes.
Entitled to travel - most times, but quality seems to be increasing compromised now, and not just for me.

Do I travel where I want when I want - the great freedom that modern transport allows?

Many people use this freedom every day to drive to work or study.

Of course there are consequence we ignore - consequences not immediate on us, and we like to think mostly affecting someone else, sometime in the future.
We kid ourselves.

Our streets are no longer safe from our own unintended consequences.
We are not clean and green, despite the government slogans.

Public bodies don’t have a great track record even representing environmental degradation accurately. Years ago a proposal for State Highway 20 extension through Mt Roskill in Auckland suggested that the increase in bad air caused by the new highway would be hardly noticeable. A professor from University of Auckland spotted that average figures for all Auckland had been used, not the air quality along the proposed route, or even near the route, and not at school time. The proposal omitted impact on local places like the schools that motorway passes now, as though increase in pollutants there didn’t matter – did it turn out to be a hundred fold (100x) or more?



With this sort of mind-set to counter, the government minister for climate change has an uphill job.

No wonder he mentioned no tactics for reducing pollution from vehicles at Victoria University last year. In fact he largely ignored the topic. Perhaps his advisors say there is little impact - using wide averages I expect.

He didn’t mention the number of car miles travelled in NZ each year either.
Apparently per capita NZ is about 5th worst country on the planet, behind USA and some tiny places.

Figures on vehicles per person were absent too. In 2000 NZ had two thirds (0.65) of a car per person. By 2012 Auckland Transport indicates we had three quarters (0.75) of a car per person. Recently I read a claim of 4 million of all vehicle types now.

The minister said nothing about the subsidies for vehicle use, or anything else government could adjust.

He seemed both clueless and weak.

Weak because he gave little information or ideas.

Clueless because the subsidy that vehicle users take from all of us in terms of clean air made dirty seemed not on his agenda.

His advisors would be well aware of tactics to reduce pollution from transport.
Maybe they didn’t tell him any.

And perhaps they didn’t tell him about costs either, like the amount of money Kiwis’ as a whole spend on vehicles and fuel each week, or the cost of cleaning the air that is spoilt. So he was a long way from making a business case for doing something.

However basic supply and demand theory is in play already - changing the price of car travel – yes, slowly increasing just fuel tax.

I understand Australia has no large vehicle assembly plants, but has not copied NZ in allowing import of large numbers of used vehicles.

No OECD country seems to have followed NZ.

Halting import of used cars will increase prices of cars we already have - over 3 million of them. But more importantly, give a shot in the arm to sales of new vehicles - that emit less pollution, including Electric vehicles.

Government could also make cars less attractive with increased charges on vehicles, such as registration fees, change of ownership fees, and licensing fees.

How about empowering councils to charge for;

¥ workplace parking, as does Nottingham City in England, partially to fund its tram, and as an incentive for employers to manage their workplace parking. Employers, rather than employees, are responsible for paying any charge.
¥ parking overnight in all public space, including any part of road reserves, that is, only vehicles parked on private property would be exempt. Yes, this might mean councils would keep track of how many vehicles could reasonably be parked at some properties.
¥ vehicle movements at busy times. London congestion Charge applies most of the day. Singapore also has a charge for vehicles crossing a cordon. this could be easily applied in Wellington which has simple state highways to cities and suburbs north.
¥ idling engines for more then a minute. The Times newspaper in England suggested that government is considering increasing the penalty to £80 ($160) to reduce pollution from exhausts. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/instant-fines-for-idling-drivers-would-send-message-about-pollution-g575tlf2x

What if all government departments purchasing only electric vehicles?
And how about councils contracting only electric buses in citys too?

But the most straightforward change for government would be to tackle the issue at source by increasing emissions standards for All vehicles to the highest standards overseas. All vehicles should meet the same standard. Sounds fair to me - why should any vehicle pollute air we breathe more than any other vehicle?

Yes, many vehicles would not comply, and can be scraped or adapted, not just old ones. Unfair some might shout. I don’t buy that - our health is a treasure for each of us.

Buildings that do not meet the earthquake code are altered or demolished.
Why are motor vehicles treated differently?

Vehicle drivers spoil lots of the air we breathe every day.
At present they are allowed to.
Do you feel they are entitled to?


ends

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