I couldn’t help noticing the juxtaposition of two stories in the NZ Herald over the last couple of days. The first announced breathlessly that Transmission Gully has received the go-ahead from Transport Minister Annette King. The issue of tolls for the new road was not mentioned, so the funding for the $1 billion expenditure isn’t exactly clear – but hey, it’s an election year!
The second story was a couple of days earlier, and noted that traffic volumes on the Auckland motorways have begun falling as petrol prices have increased. Apparently this was a bit of a surprise to Transit, if not to anyone else in New Zealand.
So at least we’re clear about transport strategy in New Zealand – as peak oil bites and traffic volumes decline, we’ll continue to build more roads. I guess the transport planners just don’t understand the meaning of the word “irony”.