Submission: DRAFT Regional Land Transport Programme 2012-15

Have a read through and make comments.  The DRAFT is available:

 Specific Requests:

We support the included projects in Table 12 of this Transport Programme.
We request a number of changes to this table.

o Inclusion of a high priority project (design + construction) - Avalon Drive Railway W&C Bridge. This is a critical missing link in the ring road project that forms a significant barrier to walking and cycling in Hamilton despite considerable thought from NZTA and HCC staff.
o Inclusion of a Green Bridge (Investigation +design + construction) facility from Claudelands area to City heart in Hamilton significant issues with access + congestion + safety for active modes.
o All projects in this table (12) address multiple LTMA objectives in a way no other expenditure in transport can. We ask that the LTMA objects be changed from "Access and Mobility" to either list all objectives, or be changed to "Satisfies to all LTMA objectives" (c.f. Table 9, p49)
o Inclusion of the various Off-road cycling and walking trails under the National Cycle Trails investment into the Regional Programme, and consideration and funding of these transport facilities as significant transport infrastructure.
o Raising regional profile of all included Cycling and Walking projects to HHH to reflect their alignment with strategic fit, effectiveness, and economic efficiency.

We also believe that the lack of investment in Commuter rail needs to be addressed. Again, Access and Mobility is not the reason for rail services. Rail is the least unsustainable form of mass long distance land transport, and has a safety record approaching that of commercial airline traffic. Failure to invest in this mode of transport will delay the massive gains in safety, and cost efficiency enjoyed by many other nations.

According to NZTA ( cycling and walking combined account for nearly 18% of all trips, yet in this programme they are attracting just 0.6% of investment. CAW suggests that it would be just for this transport programme to reflect Given the massive benefits to society (health, economic, sustainability) of active transport we feel that a greater proportion of the transport budget is owed these two modes.

We request, therefore,
o The total three-year investment on walking and cycling be raised to not less than 2% of total transport budget.

General Comment:

Cycle Action Waikato draws your attention to the pie chart on page 41. What this shows is this - the priorities as stated in the text and the realities of funding allocation are completely at odds with each other.

Two slices: Renewals State Highways, and Maintenance and Operations of State highways consume more funding than the combined funding for all non-automotive modes of transport, and the largest slice of the pie is building more State Highways. This is not a sustainable strategy.

The cost effectiveness and safety of travel should be high priorities. We feel that undue bias is still being given to the least cost effective, least efficient and most dangerous form of travel - the private motor car. New Zealand's obsession with this mode of transport is tearing the country apart socially and economically.

If our sparse population cannot afford the cost of rail it certainly cannot justify the billions of dollars being spent on state highways. A single year of proposed expenditure on State highway construction in the Waikato would run a free commuter train to Auckland 10 times a day for about 100 years (based on $2m per year vs. $2000M for state highway construction).