Road transport

How long before Len tries this here?

Len will be looking for something else now to control us and to raise even more taxes..

What better way than to have a congestion charging and add on a special tax for diesel vehicles….so he can tax his own buses he will try and force us onto.

London will follow Paris and introduce an outright ban on diesel cars which are causing “serious health damage” in the capital, campaigners warn.

The Mayor of Paris has announced radical plans to ban diesel cars from the French capital by 2020 due to concerns about how much pollution the cars cause.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, is also grappling with the issue of how to tackle pollution from the fuels fumes which contain tiny particles and nitrogen oxides and have been increasingly proven to be seriously damaging to health.

France, which has the highest number of diesel cars on the road, will now ban the cars out right with Anne Hidalgo, the Parisian Mayor pledging “an end to diesel in Paris in 2020″.  Read more »

NZIER slams public transport, says to embrace autonomous technologies

The NZIER has put out a report that slams public transport.

The report is gold! It is an absolute slating of PT stating that motorcar technology will ensure such high efficiencies that it is a sure bet that cars will dominate.

Once again some sensible people can see that Len Brown’s fascination with rail would probably best be met by buying him a Thomas the Tank engine set.

New transport technologies are transforming how we commute; creating major opportunities and risks to New Zealand’s infrastructure investment says a report just released by NZIER.

New technologies include crash avoidance systems that make travel safer, car sensors that in the future will smooth traffic flows to ease congestion, and apps that help people share car commuting costs instead of taking public transport. Hybrid plug-in vehicles that cost as little as a $1 a day to run and falling oil prices are also dramatically reducing the cost of car travel.

“These new technologies are already here in new car markets and on our smart phones making car commutes safer, cheaper and more comfortable” said Nick Allison, Principal Economist at NZIER.

“Consumers win from these disruptive technologies but the pace of change presents major headaches for government. As electric and hybrid vehicles become more common, less petrol will be used. Therefore, government challenges include safeguarding fuel excise revenue that funds transport infrastructure and charging road users fairly and efficiently.”    Read more »

I really get annoyed with people in Wellington telling people in Auckland all about congestion

David Farrar once again decides to comment on Auckland traffic issues, proving at the same time his lack of understanding of Auckland’s transport issues.

Then again i shouldn’t be surprised because when he comes to Auckland he calls up and asks if I want to catch up for a drink at 6pm…usually at about 530pm. He is doing what a lot if Wellingtonian’s do…thinking Auckland is just like Wellington, an incredibly tiny shithole where everyone is 15 minutes from town. It isn’t…he has never contemplated the fact that in order to do that I’d be driving at least 30 minutes each way in peak hour traffic to have a drink when I don;t drink with someone who has his head inside his smart phone conducting Twitter conversations with pinkos who aren’t his friends.

Auckland is large. But this is his suggestion…

I support user pays for transport. A congestion charge is the best form of user pays – a market charge. A toll charge is also an efficient mechanism of making sure users of the transport system pay for the benefits they get from them.

So I don’t think the Government should rule out congestion charges or tolls for Auckland Council, or other councils.

Yeah good oh, David….and precisely where would you put this congestion tax? On motorway on ramps? On Motorway off ramps?

Let me tell you what would happen.

People would exist or join motorways where there are NO tolling facilities. So if you decide it is the CBD that is congested and so off ramps into the city centre should be tolled that would mean covering the following exits: Symonds Street, Wellesley Street, Nelson Street, Cook Street, Fanshawe Street, Stanley Street, and Wellington Street.

What would happen is those coming from the south would exit the motorway and any exit ahead of Symonds street including as far back as Greenlane but also Market road and funnel themselves down through Newmarket further jamming the streets in and around Remuera, Newmarket and Greenlane.   Read more »

Why doesn’t the council consider reducing costs instead of stiffing ratepayers harder?

Len Brown is now trying to make your parking charges higher…all in a bid to a) raise more revenue for him to spend and b) force people onto his crappy trains that don’t go anywhere useful.

It is just shameful revenue gathering. If you live on the North Shore or in East Auckland then public transport just isn’t an option for you and driving is faster despite traffic.

Now Brown and his rapacious army of tax collectors are wanting to charge you even more for parking…to “encourage” you to use public transport services that just aren’t there.

Auckland Council is suggesting a comprehensive shake up for parking in central city and outlying town centres, which could mean higher costs to park your car and fewer places you can.

In releasing a discussion paper today, council agency Auckland Transport says parking is a tool to make the transport network more efficient and there is a need to balance the needs of all road users.

Complaints to the agency showed Auckland’s present parking policies were not work well and were causing conflicts for businesses, residents and commuters over limited spaces, particularly in the city fringe.

Extending central city parking scheme to other main regional centres, by which time limits are removed but motorists will pay incrementally more after the first hour for on-street parking and are offered cheaper off-street parking as an alternative. The goal is 85% per cent occupancy of street parking spaces     Read more »

More than 10,000 miles and not a single ticket for Google’s Self Driving Cars

Google’s self driving cars are cool, apart from the Prius platform.

They are certainly much more appealing to me than any public transport system currently mooted, and would go a long towards ameliorating traffic issues.

It also seems to me that we would be better off investing several billion dollars in working Google to bring self-drive cars to a reality in NZ, rather than wasting the money on stupid 19th century technology that is confirmed to corridors and rails.

But are they safe?

Well it appears they are, logging more than 10,000 miles without a single infringement.

On a drive in a convoy of Google’s autonomous vehicles last week, a difficult driving situation arose.

As our platoon approached a major intersection, two Google cars ahead of us crept forward into the intersection, preparing to make left turns. The oncoming traffic took nearly the whole green light to clear, so the first car made the left as the green turned to yellow. The second, however, was caught in that tough spot where the car is in the intersection but the light is turning, and the driver can either try to back up out of the intersection or gun it and make the left, even though he or she or it knows the light is going to turn red before the maneuver is complete. The self-driving car gunned it, which was the correct decision, I think. But it was also the kind of decision that was on the borderline of legality.

It got me wondering: had these cars ever gotten a ticket driving around Mountain View, where they’ve logged 10,000 miles?

“We have not cited any Google self-driving cars,” Sergeant Saul Jaeger, the press information officer at the Mountain View Police Department, told me. They hadn’t pulled one over and let the vehicle go, either, to Jaeger’s knowledge.

I wondered if that was because of a pre-existing agreement between Google and the department, but Jaeger said, “There is no agreement in place between Google and the PD.”

Google confirmed that they none of their cars had ever been ticketed in Mountain View or elsewhere.

Read more »

Claire Trevett on the ClusterTruck

Claire Trevett’s column today explores Labour’s idiocy with their clustertruck policy.

Former Labour Finance Minister Michael Cullen’s 2006 prophecy of “jam tomorrow” will come to fruition today, although it may not quite be the kind of jam people were hoping for.

It will be a traffic jam.

Realising there are votes to be gained from angry holidaymakers stuck in traffic for hours, Labour took measures to try to harvest them this week by releasing a groundbreaking holidaymakers’ transport policy.

Labour has long been driven by a drive to reduce inequality. So it announced it would drop the need to register caravans and trailers and cut road user charges for motorhomes and campervans.

The coup de grace of the policy was the ban on trucks from using the right-hand lane on three or four lane motorways – an attempt to peg into the futile rage that swamps drivers whose aims are thwarted by said trucks.

As “Kiwi families” loaded up their surfboards and fishing rods, David Cunliffe’s Caravan of Love was here to help. “Fun can quickly turn to frustration when the family realises the rego for the caravan has expired or there’s a big truck hogging the fast lane.”

Cunliffe declared, “Kiwis are sweating the small stuff too much.”  Read more »

Another Cunliffe numbers botch up. Again

Gerry Brownlee listened with some incredulity when David Cunliffe was touting his new Labour Cluster Truck Transport Policy yesterday.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says Ministry of Transport analysis of Labour’s new policy for taxing motorhomes shows many motorhome owners would actually be charged higher Road User Charges under a Labour government than they are presently, not lower, as Labour’s leader claimed this morning.

“This is frankly remarkable – I’m not sure if David Cunliffe is being tricky or if Labour is simply a shambles,” Mr Brownlee says.

“This morning David Cunliffe announced a Labour government would charge motorhome and campervan owners for the wear and tear their vehicles do to the roads based on their vehicles’ actual weights.

“But analysis by the Ministry of Transport shows that based on the difference between average and maximum weights for trucks versus motorhomes, the owners of many motorhomes would end up paying more for Road User Charges than they do today.

Well, Cunliffe lost all the Truckie votes yesterday, and you can add the Gypsy demographic to that as well.   Read more »

An email from a truckie

Yesterday we wrote about immigrant drivers and a commenter expressed his view about the responsibility of the industry.

I have received this email from an industry insider:

Dear Mr Whale Oil,

I believe that the government has made an error in removing truck drivers from the skill shortage list.

In this case I agree with what the Herald journalist has written, and I know that a mistake has been made with this decision.

It was interesting to read your piece, and the comments.

Without doubt there is a shortage of drivers in New Zealand, and in most of the developed world. This is because these people (drivers) have special skills, and we aren’t making them fast enough.

Ken Shirley said it takes years to make a Class 5 driver, and one of your commenters said that it takes a much shorter time. Please understand that this is not about getting a licence. Any half-arsed dickhead can get a licence. I am talking about being a driver of a unit weighing 40 tonnes, driving head on towards you, and worth $500,000. Not anyone can drive one of those. Not anyone can get ability to drive a heavy vehicle in a short time. The guys we train take about 3 years to get to that level.  Read more »

Another sign of a healthy economy

1210-march-vw-amarok

New vehicle purchases are their highest since 1994.

Commercial vehicle purchases are up 20%, which is more tangible evidence of improved business confidence and expansion.

New Zealand continues to perform at levels not seen in decades: March 2014 is the best since 1994 at 11,238 registrations, up 18% year-on-year and bringing the First Quarter total to 30,824 units, up 15% on 2013. Commercial vehicles are up 20% in March and 19% year-to-date. In the brands ranking, Toyota (16%), Ford (10.7%) and Holden (8.5%) reign supreme as usual, but Mitsubishi is catching up, up 3 spots on February to #4 and 7.8% share, passing Hyundai, Mazda and Nissan.

In terms of proper blokes vehicles…utes…Ford has knocked Toyota off their perch.  Read more »

Darien Fenton questions the honesty of the road transport industry

Darien Fenton has probably done more to upset the transport industry in her miniscule time as transport spokehead than any other opposition union spokesman.

Her interest is based solely around Union experiences in Australia, where conditions are very different.

Labour’s transport spokesperson has called for a review of truck driver work arrangements – suggesting accidents are linked to contracting arrangements.

Darien Fenton says that after a number of fatal accidents involving trucks in the last month, the Government should not be ignoring the Opposition’s calls for a review of the trade.

“We know that truck drivers are allowed to work up to 13 hours a day, but many work much longer than that because the pay isn’t up to scratch and they need to make a living,” says Fenton.

“We also know that pressures are often put on drivers to breach time and speeding rules, yet the number of chain of responsibility prosecutions – where those who make the demands on drivers to break those rules are held accountable – are falling.

“While there are many good trucking firms in New Zealand which take care of their drivers and train and pay them properly, there are some who don’t and they are the killers on our roads,” she added.  Read more »