Posted by: senjmito | September 18, 2010

Hutt City Council candidates respond to our transport questionnaire

Hutt City Council

Eastern Ward

Paul Alcock

1. What proportion of the transport funding in the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) of the Council you are standing for would you want to see devoted to:

a. Public transport? 70%
b. Walking (facilities and promotion)? 10%
c. Cycling (facilities and promotion)? 20%
Please explain these choices.

2. Do you support the following transport projects, where applicable:
Note: Options a-c are mutually exclusive. Each assumes that essential service vehicles would have limited access.

a. Turning the Golden Mile into a public transport corridor Y/N No
b. Turning the Golden Mile into a pedestrian corridor Y/N No
c. Turning the Golden Mile into a dedicated public transport/pedestrian space Y/N No

The Golden Mile should remain the way it currently is. I used to work very close to it but don’t now. If I wanted to shop there, the ability to park there would be a preference especially as I get older.

d. Extending the rail system through the Wellington CBD, by developing modern trams as a priority for the short term Y/N

Yes, Trams should never have been taken away.
Alternatively there is no reason why the new trains could not run further into the city.

e. A Basin Reserve flyover Y/N

No, I’m sure an alternative could be ascertained, including tunnels underneath.

f. Doubling the Terrace Tunnel Y/N

Yes, again this project should have been done when it was originally planned

g. Doubling the Mt Victoria Tunnel Y/N

Yes, at least because it was started (and this is causing other problems).

h. The Kapiti Expressway Y/N

Yes, but concerned about the impact on home owners in it’s path. Unfortunately we need a good route in and out of Wellington such as Auckland’s.

3. Do you support the creation of an integrated public transport system across the region? If so, what changes would you propose making to bring this about?

Yes. As I recall we had one once, it was called NZ Railways (when they ran the buses as well). Might be in the too hard basket to bring it back?

4. What do you consider should be the top transport priorities of the Council for which you are standing?

Reestablishment of good railway stations that interact with adjacent shopping areas (Naenae, Taita).
Making a reality of bringing trains into Hutt City CBD.
A cross valley link between Dowse Interchange and Wainuiomata Hill Road to take pressure off the Esplanade and Jackson St areas.

5. What are your own top transport priorities for the region?

1. Getting on with building Transmission Gully.
2. An interchange at Melling as the main entry to Hutt City.
3. An interchange at Kennedy Good bridge.
4. An interchange at Haywards and a bridge over the Hutt River to Stokes Valley.

PS. The lack of facilities and transit means between the place where Cruise ships now tie up (seeing as the Overseas terminal is no more) and Wellington Central is an embarrassment.  There is no reason why the Westpac Stadium complex and the wharf could not be better utilised together. Not too late to do something before the World Cup!

Ephraim Gazo

1. What proportion of the transport funding in the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) of the Council you are standing for would you want to see devoted to:

a. Public transport? Please refer to answer below
b. Walking (facilities and promotion)? Please refer to answer below
c. Cycling (facilities and promotion)? Please refer to answer below

Please explain these choices. Although I cannot give you an exact figure as to what proportion of the transport funding in the LTCCP would I want to see devoted to the three options given nor an exact stance on whether I support the following transport projects highlighted as I am not as experienced in regards to answering this manner nor do I want to sound like a pretending ‘expert’. I can however say that I would like to see more of these options within our City and also to see a debate in regards to these projects and therefore I am prepared to advocate on behalf of my constituents to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard and strengthened and that our communities are well connected to one another.

2. Do you support the following transport projects, where applicable:

Note: Options a-c are mutually exclusive. Each assumes that essential service vehicles would have limited access. refer to answer above
a. Turning the Golden Mile into a public transport corridor Y/N

b. Turning the Golden Mile into a pedestrian corridor Y/N
c. Turning the Golden Mile into a dedicated public transport/pedestrian space Y/N
d. Extending the rail system through the Wellington CBD, by developing modern trams as a priority for the short term Y/N
e. A Basin Reserve flyover Y/N
f. Doubling the Terrace Tunnel Y/N
g. Doubling the Mt Victoria Tunnel Y/N
h. The Kapiti Expressway Y/N

3. Do you support the creation of an integrated public transport system across the region? If so, what changes would you propose making to bring this about?

Yes, it all comes down to People first which means that public consultation will be my utmost priority in regards to engaging our public as to what their opinions and concerns are on this matter.

4. What do you consider should be the top transport priorities of the Council for which you are standing?

Enhanced public transport (i.e. buses and train timetables should be on time, subways should be maintained well in regards to safety and cleanliness) and safer roads/motorways for the public.

5. What are your own top transport priorities for the region?

That our public transportations’ timetables are efficient, on time, and are synchronized with one another which enables an enjoyable travelling experience and gives our public the better option of catching public transport.

Lisa Bridson   

1. What proportion of the transport funding in the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) of the Council you are standing for would you want to see devoted to:

a. Public transport? n/a

b. Walking (facilities and promotion)? 10%

c. Cycling (facilities and promotion)? 10%

Please explain these choices.

At present 90% of funding is allocated to roading.  Our footpaths are in poor condition, with trees breaking the concrete in many places, and many roads having no footpath at all.  Recreational cycleways have been receiving some funding, but the links are incomplete.  Increased funding is required to redress this balance.

2. Do you support the following transport projects, where applicable:

Note: Options a-c are mutually exclusive. Each assumes that essential service vehicles would have limited access.

a. Turning the Golden Mile into a public transport corridor Y/N  No
b. Turning the Golden Mile into a pedestrian corridor Y/N  Yes
c. Turning the Golden Mile into a dedicated public transport/pedestrian space Y/N  Maybe
d. Extending the rail system through the Wellington CBD, by developing modern trams as a priority for the short term Y/N:  Yes

e. A Basin Reserve flyover Y/N  No

f. Doubling the Terrace Tunnel Y/N: No

g. Doubling the Mt Victoria Tunnel Y/N: No

h. The Kapiti Expressway Y/N: No

3. Do you support the creation of an integrated public transport system across the region? If so, what changes would you propose making to bring this about?

Yes, this is long overdue.  Passengers have long said they want integrated ticketing, where they can use one ticket to travel across multiple modes throughout the region.

At present Infratil controls the majority of our public transport.  Their monopoly means they have little incentive to integrate services.  As the Regional Council subsidises public transport, a drive to integrate ticketing needs to be required by them.  If Infratil can’t be persuaded to provide integrated ticketing then the Regional Council should use their power under the Public Transport Management Act to take back control of the public transport system from this monopoly operator to ensure a system that meets the needs of the public.

4. What do you consider should be the top transport priorities of the Council for which you are standing?

1. Safer, higher quality footpaths.

2. Road safety improvements

3. Travel demand management.

4. Connected cycleways throughout the region.

5. What are your own top transport priorities for the region?

1. Improve the reliability of the public transport network, particularly the trains

2. Safer, higher quality footpaths

3. Road safety improvements

4. Travel demand management

5. Connected cycleways throughout the region

Grant Brookes

1. What proportion of the transport funding in the Long Term Council
Community Plan (LTCCP) of the Council you are standing for would you
want to see devoted to:
a. Public transport?

Apart from ongoing pavement re-surfacing, there are no transport items in the Hutt City Council LTCCP worth more than a million dollars for the next six years. But in the 2015-2016 financial year, the Council is budgeting for major expenditure on transport.

Nearly $5 million is tagged for a Melling/SH2 interchange upgrade, and $18 million for “roading network improvements”. These “improvements” are unspecified in the latest LTCCP, but in the last version of the Plan the same amount was allocated that year for a new Cross-Valley Link Road. The
Melling/SH2 interchange upgrade and Cross Valley Link eat up 70 percent of total transport spending that year.

VAN – Valley Action Network has campaigned against the Cross Valley Link Road since 2007. We are committed to channelling the 70 percent of LTCCP transport spending away from the Cross Valley Link and the new motorway interchange, and put that money into public transport instead.

b. Walking (facilities and promotion)?
c. Cycling (facilities and promotion)?

In a typical year in the Hutt City LTCCP, such as the year to 30 June 2011,
total transport expenditure is around $10 million. Of that, spending on
footpaths, including money allocated to the new Eastern Bays Walkway project, is less than $500,000. According to current plans, it’s hard to say when – if ever – the Eastern Bays Walkway will be finished.

VAN – Valley Action Network wants to bring forward the spending needed to complete this project, and others like a purpose-built “Beach to Bush” foot and cycle bridge over the railway line at Petone, and the long-talked about Wainuiomata Hill walkway improvements.

On top of this, there is a need to expand funding for initiatives such as
lunch time walking groups at work, and “walking school buses” for kids.

Hutt City Council has improved cycling routes over the last few years,
particularly along the popular Hutt River Trail. But there is a need to get on
with the long-talked about Great Harbour Way cycle route south of Petone. It’s not clear at this stage exactly what proportion of LTCCP transport funding the Great Harbour Way would require from Hutt City Council.

In the longer term, the whole design of our city needs to change so it no
longer revolves around “big box” retailing and malls, with acres of car parks, that are reached by driving. Climate change and peak oil will force these changes upon us, if we don’t make them voluntarily.

Please explain these choices.

2. Do you support the following transport projects, where applicable:
Note: Options a-c are mutually exclusive. Each assumes that essential
service vehicles would have limited access.
a. Turning the Golden Mile into a public transport corridor Y/N
b. Turning the Golden Mile into a pedestrian corridor Y/N
c. Turning the Golden Mile into a dedicated public
transport/pedestrian space Y/N
d. Extending the rail system through the Wellington CBD, by developing
modern trams as a priority for the short term Y/N
e. A Basin Reserve flyover Y/N
f. Doubling the Terrace Tunnel Y/N
g. Doubling the Mt Victoria Tunnel Y/N
h. The Kapiti Expressway Y/N

3. Do you support the creation of an integrated public transport
system across the region? If so, what changes would you propose making
to bring this about?

One of the great difficulties that the Greater Wellington Regional Council has encountered in pursuing an integrated public transport system across the region has been the conflicting agendas of private transport companies.

Integrated ticketing has so far foundered on rival commercial interests.
Infratil (which owns the Snapper card system, and also Go Wellington and
Valley Flyer buses) has been more focused on battling Thales Group for a
national public transport ticketing system than on cooperating on an
integrated transport system for the Wellington region. And Infratil obviously wouldn’t support changes that advantaged other bus companies, or saw passengers switch to rail, even if these improved the system as a whole.

Integrated planning of transport routes, meanwhile, is potentially undermined by the ability of private operators to cherry-pick profitable routes and remove them from public oversight by running them subsidy-free on a purely commercial basis.

For these reasons, VAN – Valley Action Network believes that an integrated public transport system would be best served by public ownership of all public transport.

It’s been done successfully with the trains since 2008, when KiwiRail took
over Tranz Metro. Now how about the rest?

4. What do you consider should be the top transport priorities of the
Council for which you are standing?

5. What are your own top transport priorities for the region?

The top transport priority for Hutt City Council, and the region as a whole,
should be moving towards free and frequent public transport.

Also, the current commitment to the Wellington Regional Strategy for growth leads to unsustainable transport priorities like the airport corridor. VAN  argues Councils should withdraw from this strategy until it can be redesigned for growth and transport strategies that do not burn the planet.

With central government committing over a billion dollars of new money for transport in the Wellington region, there is more than enough funding
available to achieve free public transport – so long as it isn’t all blown on a single motorway through Transmission Gully.

We don’t need to spend $250 million more destroying the Belmont Regional Park with a Petone-Grenada Link Road, either.

The task before local government representatives is to lobby for this urgently-needed shift in transport priorities.

 

Harbour Ward

Robert Ashe

1. What proportion of the transport funding in the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) of the Council you are standing for would you want to see devoted to:
a. Public transport?
b. Walking (facilities and promotion)?
c. Cycling (facilities and promotion)?

Please explain these choices.

Over the next five years, the Hutt City Council (HCC) will spend $45 million on new road infrastructure and only $5.1 million on walking and cycling. If you add the costs of maintaining roads, for every $1 the HCC will invest in footpaths and cycleways, the Council will spend $50 on roads.

In the short-to-medium term, Council spending should prioritise sustainable alternatives to driving. This will add security to our mobility in an age of rising oil prices and help to reduce climate change emissions. Offering residents viable alternatives to driving is also the best way to address congestion on our roads.

Currently, walking and cycling investments make up a tiny fraction (10%) of our transport capital spend, while Council spends nothing on bus and train services. I would be return some balance to the spend by significantly ramping-up the amounts we investment in new walking and cycling facilities. I advocate for at least $2 million/year to be redirected into better walking and cycling facilities. This would require no new money if new roading projects were put on hold for the short-to-medium term.

I’d also redirect further road spending into the provision of more dedicated bus lanes at major congestion points and great advocacy work for public transport commuters, both at a regional and national level. Again, this would require no new money, just a re-allocation of priorities within the existing budget.

2. Do you support the following transport projects, where applicable:
Note: Options a-c are mutually exclusive. Each assumes that essential service vehicles would have limited access.

a. Turning the Golden Mile into a public transport corridor Y/N: No
b. Turning the Golden Mile into a pedestrian corridor Y/N: No
c. Turning the Golden Mile into a dedicated public transport/pedestrian space Y/N: Yes!
d. Extending the rail system through the Wellington CBD, by developing modern trams as a priority for the short term Y/N: Yes
e. A Basin Reserve flyover Y/N: No
f. Doubling the Terrace Tunnel Y/N: No
g. Doubling the Mt Victoria Tunnel Y/N: No
h. The Kapiti Expressway Y/N: No

3. Do you support the creation of an integrated public transport system across the region? If so, what changes would you propose making to bring this about?

Yes, this is long overdue.

Ticketing: Passengers need a truly integrated ticket, meaning one ticket will take them across multiple modes throughout the region to their destination. The Snapper card is not a truly integrated ticket.

Transfers: Transfers from buses to buses or trains need to be seamless and timetables coordinated for a transport system to be considered truly integrated. To achieve this, services need to be fast, frequent, and highly reliable.

Comment: One company, Infratil, controls a majority of our bus services in Wellington. Infratil’s monopoly position means they have few incentives to integrate their services with other operators or offer a truly integrated ticket. It’s also likely we are paying higher prices for our bus services than other cities.

Real time information systems are a good example of how this monopoly position has held our public transport services back. First promised in 1990, Wellington is still waiting for the region-wide roll-out of this invaluable service at bus and train stations. We are twenty years behind other cities.

Christchurch City has the most responsive and integrated public transport system in the country. Their bus services are run by a council-controlled company. This results in better co-ordination of services, lower bus fares, and the better integration of services. While not perfect, it’s a better system than Wellington’s.

The Public Transport Management Act empowers regions to take back control of their transport systems from monopoly operators and set the terms for the integration and delivery of services. Greater Wellington Regional Council needs to use their powers under the Act to regain control of our public transport system to ensure the very best outcomes for passengers.

4. What do you consider should be the top transport priorities of the Council for which you are standing?

1. Safer, more extensive cycleways throughout the region.
2. Higher quality footpaths.
3. Smoother road surfaces on busy arterial routes to lower noise in our communities and save petrol.
4. Connect the Lower Hutt CBD to the rail system through a light-rail loop.
5. Various road safety improvements and better travel demand management of our existing road network.

5. What are your own top transport priorities for the region?

1. Safer, more extensive cycleways.
2. Higher quality footpaths.
3. Smoother road surfaces on busy arterial routes to lower noise in our communities and save petrol.
4. Complete the train network: Connect the Lower Hutt CBD to the rail system via a light rail loop and extend light rail south through Wellington City, Newtown, and out to the Eastern Suburbs and the airport.
5. Various road safety improvements throughout the region and better travel demand management of our existing road network.

 

Wainuiomata

Reg Moore

1. What proportion of the transport funding in the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) of the Council you are standing for would you want to see devoted to:

a. Public transport?        90 %
b. Walking (facilities and promotion)?  5%
c. Cycling (facilities and promotion)?   5%

The major cost is bound to be on public transport

Please explain these choices.

2. Do you support the following transport projects, where applicable:
Note: Options a-c are mutually exclusive. Each assumes that essential service vehicles would have limited access.
a. Turning the Golden Mile into a public transport corridor Y/N
b. Turning the Golden Mile into a pedestrian corridor Y/N

c. Turning the Golden Mile into a dedicated public transport/pedestrian space Y/N   Yes
d. Extending the rail system through the Wellington CBD, by developing modern trams as a priority for the short term Y/N    Yes
e. A Basin Reserve flyover Y/N   No
f. Doubling the Terrace Tunnel Y/N   Yes
g. Doubling the Mt Victoria Tunnel Y/N   Yes
h. The Kapiti Expressway Y/N     No

3. Do you support the creation of an integrated public transport system across the region? If so, what changes would you propose making to bring this about? 

A common fare system throughout the Region

4. What do you consider should be the top transport priorities of the Council for which you are standing?

Improved bus service to Wainuiomata

5. What are your own top transport priorities for the region?

Better Rail and bus services throughout the Region

 

Western Ward

Lynette Vigrass

1. What proportion of the transport funding in the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) of the Council you are standing for would you want to see devoted to:
a. Public transport?
b. Walking (facilities and promotion)?
c. Cycling (facilities and promotion)?
Please explain these choices.

The short answer to this question is – the proportion it will take to make walking, cycling and public transport viable choices across the city.  At present we have cycleway strips on the sides of some roads plus we do have a great cycleway along the river. However you take your life in your hands on the roads, even in the cycle strips.  If we want more people on bicycles we need dedicated cycle-ways connecting the CBD with places where people live.

Pedestrians are better catered for in most areas of course, but we still have streets with inadequate footpaths for safe and relaxed walking. And in the city centre we need some pedestrianized streets between the various parts in order to get people out of the mall and back on the streets.  I would also like to see a cheap/free minibus system doing a circuit of the city to help revitalize underutilized areas and thus help small businesses.

We need to reduce the sense of entitlement that motorists have on roads so we can affirm “roads” as ways of getting from A to B for all types of users – cars, public transport, bikes, pedestrians, even horse riders in some of our semi rural suburbs.

Although it is important to keep roads in good condition, HCC seems to have a policy of widening and straightening roads to the detriment of pedestrians, children, cyclists etc. as cars then go faster and faster – especially in our hill suburbs.  In many residential areas 50kph is too fast (and many motorists go faster than that).  And more attention could be paid to connecting various areas with walkways and cycle-ways – going along the road is often the only way and frequently longer than a more direct footpath would be.

2. Do you support the following transport projects, where applicable:

a. Turning the Golden Mile into a public transport corridor Y/N
b. Turning the Golden Mile into a pedestrian corridor Y/N

c. Turning the Golden Mile into a dedicated public transport/pedestrian space YES
d. Extending the rail system through the Wellington CBD, by developing modern trams as a priority for the short term YES
e. A Basin Reserve flyover NO
f. Doubling the Terrace Tunnel NO
g. Doubling the Mt Victoria Tunnel NO
h. The Kapiti Expressway NO

3. Do you support the creation of an integrated public transport system across the region? If so, what changes would you propose making to bring this about? 

YES – integrated ticketing/transfers and real time information are needed to make it quick and convenient to move from one form of public transport to another.

4. What do you consider should be the top transport priorities of the Council for which you are standing? 

Road safety for cyclists and pedestrians through dedicated cycle-ways and footpaths.  Looking at traffic calming measures in suburbs where speeding is out of control and negatively impacting on community life.  Pedestrianized areas in CBD and a circular minibus service in the CBD.  Foot and cycle bridges across river to ease access to various parts of town from the western hills.  Connect CBD to rail system – possibly with light rail.

5. What are your own top transport priorities for the region? 

Do not put another tunnel through Mt. Vic – instead we need light rail going all the way to the airport, via the hospital.  It is outrageous that it is so inconvenient to get to and from the airport and hospital.  Managing road safety, including cycle-ways, traffic calming, road sharing.  Ensuring public transport is affordable – too many people say it is cheaper to go by car.  Having a long term plan for the kind of cities we want to have – people friendly, clean air, safer, slower, welcoming, sustainable.

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