Billions of dollars for barely any capacity

Thu, 21 Jul, 2022

“The Government plans to spend over a billion dollars to ensure around 44,000 fewer daily trips through the Mt Victoria Tunnel,” says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.

“ACT can reveal written parliamentary questions that show only approx. 6,000 walkers and cyclists are expected to use the Mt Vic Tunnel under Labour’s proposal to ban cars from it, this is compared to the 50-55,000 motorists who use it every day currently.

“ACT said that Lets Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) jumped the shark when it announced a $7.4 billion transport package that didn’t include a single new lane for drivers to use.

“Spending billions of dollars in a cost of living crisis to provide no further capacity for motorists is madness, but according to Labour it’s justified if 6,000 walkers or cyclists get to use the tunnel.

“Treasury advice states that Wellington’s population will grow by 80,000 by 2050. It is totally bonkers to think that these people are all going to be able to move around without greater capacity for drivers than there is currently.

“In fact, 70 per cent of respondents to LGWM surveys stated they wanted "two lanes for general traffic in each direction because they believe this would future proof the investment and support population growth and intensification”.

“Just like he did with the cancelled Auckland Cycle Bridge, Minister Wood has put his ideology before common sense – at great expense to taxpayers. The reality is that New Zealand’s economy and geographic layout relies on people being able to drive, but he seems to think he can bully the population into cycling, walking and bussing everywhere.

“ACT would take the politics out of transport and infrastructure and get central and local government working together through 30-year infrastructure partnerships, devolving revenue and responsibility to regional governments and the private sector, while strengthening accountability and oversight from central government.

“By setting plans decades in advance, we can avoid the on-again, off-again uncertainty created by the political cycle which deters councils and private infrastructure investors from undertaking ambitious projects.”

WPQs 22470, 22472 and 22473.