Thursday, 2 June 2016

Regional Council hard-nosed about killing hard-wired Wellington

I made an oral submission to Wellington's regional Council last Wednesday ( 25 May) I congratulated the Council on its decision that all future papers and policies include a statement as to their effect on climate change. This is essential to address and act on the climate crisis happening right now which the climate scientists are warning us about. But they also say we have the means to avoid the worst--given the right political leadership.
There are very good Council transport plans afoot like the plans for The Great Harbour Way safe walking & cycling track. But their handling of the most rapidly expanding source of greenhouse gases--fossil-fuelled transport--is foundering. Currently their bus fleet, apart from the trolleys, runs on diesel which has serious health and climate problems.
I pointed to the flawed  Public Transport Spine Study of 2013 which concluded that Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) should exclude light rail transport from Wellington's public transport agenda. This was based on over-emphasising costs and under-estimating the benefits of light rail while over-estimating the benefits of BRT. Many transport experts point to Wellington's narrow CBD streets so that 'Rapid' will not happen with a bus solution.And buses won't carry enough people to gain the real low emission and low pollution benefits inherent in light rail.
Another  major backward step has also been to plan the expensive destruction of the city's wiring for the popular clean green trolley buses. I have had a Wellington Scoop article printed on my views on this.

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