New Zealand Transport Agency

YTD road toll highest in 6 years after changes to alcohol and speed enforcements

There is some ‘splaining to do after the road toll hits a six-year high.

The first two months of the year have been a horrific time on the roads, with deaths well up on the same time last year.

A total of 63 people were confirmed dead from 53 different fatal crashes – an average of almost one a day – in January and February.

It’s the deadliest start to the year since 2010, when 68 people died during the same months.

Waikato was by far the worst-hit area so far this year, with 16 people confirmed dead from crashes in the region.

New Zealand Transport Agency data showed in both Auckland and the combined Gisborne-Hawke’s Bay region, seven people died in the first 60 days of this year.

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Hopefully all the road maggots will move to Wellington

The Wellington City Council has in recent months, in conjunction with the Greater Wellington Regional Council cancelled the Basin Flyover, wants to consider congestion tolls in Wellington and now is devoting more that $100 million to an integrated series of cycle routes….none of which will actually help with congestion.

Worse they seem to be lumbering taxpayers from other regions for the bill.

After plenty of big talk about changing the face of cycling in Wellington, the council has written a big cheque to match.

The Wellington City Council has agreed to spend $101 million on new cycle lanes across the capital over the next 20 years, with $30m being spent in the first three years to really get the programme going.

Wellington’s ‘Master Plan’ for cycling, which was approved by the council’s transport and urban development committee on Wednesday, identifies the CBD, eastern suburbs and the route between the railway station and Ngauranga as the first areas for development.    Read more »

Is Stephen Town wanting to Leave the Auckland Council?

Hey Len. I'll go to NZTA and you can find a rail friendly CE to replace me, hows that for a plan?

Hey Len. I’ll go to NZTA and you can find a rail friendly CE to replace me, hows that for a plan?

Stephen Town, Auckland Council’s Chief Executive, has apparently applied for the CE role at NZTA.

Sources inside the mayor’s office are saying that this is all part of a broader plan to see NZTA be more friendly to Len Brown’s wish to spend heavily on trains and force Aucklanders to use public transport.

The feeling inside the Mayor’s office is that another pro-public transport CE can be appointed to Auckland Council if Town moves to NZTA, and NZTA will become a lot more willing to entertain Auckland Council’s transport funding priorities.    Read more »

Speed campaign shown to be a fallacy

A tainted reporter at a newspaper has a big story about NZTA staff being recorded speeding numerous times by their own GPS systems

Staff at the agency charged with making our roads safer have been caught illegally hooning in work cars at least 8500 times in nine months – twice at 145km/h – and not one will get a ticket.

The speeding staff at the NZ Transport Agency include a member of the senior leadership team and a handful of managers.

In a three-month sample of the data, at least 45 of NZTA’s 139 cars were found to have been driven “consistently at speeds over 110km/h and sustained high speed over a number of kilometres”.

A NZ Herald analysis of data obtained through the Official Information Act found 8500 occasions on which NZTA cars were driven faster than 110 km/h – well over any unofficial tolerance applied to speed enforcement. There were 910 instances where the cars were driven at speeds greater than 120km/h – and 130 instances of speeds more than 130km/h.

Of those, eight people exceeded 140km/h, with at least one going more than 145km/h.

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Let’s give half of rural roads to road maggots. NZTA abandons cycle safe trial after a day

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What sort of a moron gives up half of the road for road maggots?

The agency tasked to look after the nation’s roadways have been called on to explain a cycle lane trial that left motor vehicles on a collision course.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) created two sets of cycle lanes on Thursday and Friday last week on either side of Roto-o-rangi Rd near Leamington in Cambridge.

Roto-o-rangi Rd was reduced to the size of a single lane just three paces wide, leaving local councillors fuming.

The speed limit was reduced to 60kmh to allow for the cyclists and cars to share the road but by Saturday, the monitored trial was called off.  Read more »

Winston Peters’ gold card lolly scramble a burden on councils

Winston Peters’ gold card lolly scramble is becoming a burden on councils.

Not surprising really, since when you subsidise things it distorts the market. People make unreasonable choices on the basis that someone else is paying for the free ride they are enjoying.

Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead is ”mighty frustrated” over budget pressures arising from the Government’s Gold Card free bus transport scheme.

Issues over the free off-peak travel scheme surfaced this week at a meeting of the council’s finance and corporate committee.

The SuperGold free off-peak travel scheme, for people aged 65 or older, is a Ministry of Social Development-funded initiative, with the subsidy distributed by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).

A report tabled at the meeting noted that councils were reimbursed for 65% of the adult cash fare, below the 75% reimbursement level when the scheme was introduced in 2008.    Read more »

Simon tells Northland to build a bridge and get over it…oh wait

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A bridge was the undoing of Ted Kennedy at Chapaquiddick, Simon Bridges’ problems are far worse politically than a dead girl in the car.

National is giving Northland the middle finger for dumping them during the by-election.

National has no money for the bridges and is hoping the NZTA will help out…but unless they can magic up some deaths or safety issues quick smart those bridges are not going to be built this century.

Only four of the 10 bridges the Government promised to double-lane in Northland will be worked on in the next three years – and some may never be upgraded.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has announced a $13.9 billion plan for spending on roads and public transport across the country over the next three years.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges promised the bridge upgrades during the Northland by-election earlier this year and said the work would be done over six years.

He said today that NZTA had ruled out double-laning three of the bridges.

Those bridges are Hallahans Bridge, Lowes Bridge, and Darby and Joan Bridge, which is between two large kauri trees and which the agency says cannot be double-laned.

Mr Bridges said he was not breaking his by-election promise.

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How about that public transport?

Yesterday Julie Anne Genter was using a little bit of rain to push her political agenda and suggesting the solution to our problems was more public transport.

Now I’m not sure about anyone else but that public transport solution hasn’t worked so well for Wellingtonians this morning:

Commuters planning on travelling within the Wellington region tomorrow morning have been advised to consider alternatives to their usual morning commute.

The suspension of train services until at least midday tomorrow is likely to result in congestion on the roads.

The NZ Transport Agency is advising Wellingtonians that the best way to steer clear of congestion is to plan around it and work from home, travel outside of peak times or commute on foot or bike.

Commuters are advised that before making travel decisions tomorrow, they should check the Metservice website and check traffic conditions online at www.nzta.govt.nz, www.tfw.govt.nz, or on the @nztawgtn twitter feed.

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When will Local Government stop telling porkies?

Local government is spinning like a top, this time it is Craig Stobo trying to pull the wool.

New Zealand territorial authorities have assets of $117.4 billion yet extremely low debt levels of only $10.8 billion, says a financial chief.

Craig Stobo, chairman of council funder the Local Government Funding Agency which finances many councils, revealed the numbers at a briefing yesterday, saying those ratios proved councils were extremely financially cautious.

“Councils in New Zealand are conservatively geared. That indicates they’re prudent financial managers and their communities should be grateful,” Stobo said.

Firstly this is nothing but PR spin by a local government organisation. They know that they are under attack for crap financial performance and high debt.

But assets of $100b plus? I don’t think so.

The NZ Govt Treasury definition of an asset is something that will provide economic benefits. Other definitions by Audit NZ for example say that it is something that can generate income or be sold to generate income.

Most of what Local Government calls ‘assets’ are actually a value applied to land that sits under roads or parks. These can’t be sold and they can’t generate income. So they aren’t assets.   Read more »

Typical socialists, they always want a subsidy

Why do socialists always think subsidies are a solution?

Keeping the Capital Connection running could cost ratepayers less than previously thought.

An internal Ministry of Transport memo released under the Official Information Act casts doubt on the amount of public money needed to keep the commuter service between Palmerston North and Wellington going.

KiwiRail has said it will cease running the train from July this year and has no plan in place for a replacement service.

For the Capital Connection to continue, the two regional councils – Horizons and Greater Wellington – need to convince the New Zealand Transport Agency to shift the Connection to a Wellington Metro service, which would mean it could receive a subsidy from the two councils and NZTA.

The Ministry of Transport report estimates the cost of the subsidy needed at about $250,000 per annum.

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