Dead end for cycle and walking paths in new transport budget

Could it get any worse? NZ driving ahead in the completely wrong direction.

I just don’t understand what they are trying to achieve. What they will achieve is a worse NZ. Much worse.

My read on it - is that it is an easy & lazy political message. Pretty much a reflection of the old troupe ‘I’ve never seen anyone ever use the cycle lanes, so logically speaking we shouldn’t fund them if they’re going to be empty’. This message isn’t intended for general audiences but rather for the clique on the right hand side of NZ politics that thinks this way. To put it another way - the National government isn’t going to lose any votes at all on this policy.

If anything - this should be a wake up call for Labour and the Greens to actually make Waka Kotahi implement active transport projects in a timely manner and not the ten year plus timeframes it has taken to get projects funded and built.

Don’t mind me, I’ll be out the back sobbing in despair.

Unfortunately it also sends a message to the public at large. “It is ok to carry on being dependent on cars”, “Our cities are designed for cars - everyone else should get out of the way”.

Like Gerard, I despair.

Yes, absolute unmitigated disaster is my take on it, it couldn’t be worse.

What is especially frustrating is that, as Jon mentioned, National probably won’t lose votes on this, in spite of the fact this policy is a disaster for people driving (more congestion), people cycling, walking, and people taking public transport i.e. everyone. Everyone loses from this (apart from the trucking lobby group money flowing to National), and it would be great if the media picked up on this and pulled the government up on it.

Really, the only question at this point is how we should actively and most effectively be protesting against this, or mobilising to do so.

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I’m remain optimistic, because I think the results of the new policy will be:

  1. increased congestion - leading to congestion charging (which they’ve signalled is going to happen)
  2. none of their promises are going to be fulfilled - because building roading projects take a long time - so in the meantime they spend a lot of money - finish nothing - and congestion will be worse
  3. the active transport / public transport side will have a better strategy on engaging a much broader section of the centre and centre right and when a new government comes along they’ll implement much faster.
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