Transport

After two years the union caves and declares victory at Ports of Auckland

More than two years have elapsed since the Maritime Union led by old crusty dinosaur Garry Parsloe brought the Ports of Auckland to a standstill.

Their demands were to work less for more money, despite eye-wateringly generous payments for the little work they did already.

It was die in the ditch stuff for them, and they held strong right up until they caved and agreed to the terms released by the arbitrator two years ago.

As expected, Maritime Union members have ratified a collective employment agreement with Ports of Auckland.

A stop-work meeting of members unanimously voted in favour of the new collective employment agreement first thing this morning.

Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says the new agreement is a positive step for workers at the Ports of Auckland that should ensure the continued success of the port.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson concurs.

“We are obviously pleased and look forward to working with the Maritime Union to deliver even more for the people of Auckland,” he says.

The agreement between the port company and the union will be signed off today.

Parsloe has declared victory…but it was a victory his members could have had two years ago.   Read more »

Train and cycling spotters now called experts?

Auckland Council run monthly propaganda seminars and the March seminar is on public transport.

It’s clearly a joke because the email says ‘register to hear from a range of experts who will outline the key transport issues facing Aucklanders …’

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Smug cars for Smug owners

With petrol prices falling you’d think there would be a drop off in purchases of smug powered cars.

But it appears this isn’t the case, even though they are horrendously expensive.

It seems smug people still like buying smug cars.

People buy vehicles for all sorts of reasons. They buy because the vehicle meets their utility—a pickup truck for a handyman, a van for a big family, a Lincoln Town Car for a professional driver. Some make decisions based on fuel efficiency and low cost. But as is often the case with consumer products, many people make vehicle purchase decisions based on how the product makes them feel, or how it makes them look. In the U.S. in particular, the car you drive is a means of expressing your identity.   Read more »

The inherent dishonesty of Toyota

The other day I received an email from Hunting & Fishing, I’m on their mailing list.

In the middle of the email was this ad:

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Can anyone spot the problem?

That’s right Toyota are claiming to be the one selling ute in NZ…which they aren’t that is the Ford Ranger, which was the number one selling truck in NZ for 2014 breaking a decades long stranglehold by Toyota.

On Facebook they are claiming something similar.   Read more »

Can Auckland Transport get anything right?

Auckland Transport has stuffed up again, rooting up one of the simplest jobs they have, providing adequate and readable signage for motorists.

New signs peppering streets around Auckland’s Dominion Rd may have to be “re-skinned” to make them easier for motorists to read, the city’s transport authority admits.

Auckland Transport said yesterday that some drivers had complained lettering on the dark blue “way-finding” signs is not large enough for them to make out.

“Initial feedback is that the typeface … is too small, particularly if you are driving,” said marketing general manager Mike Loftus. “This is certainly something we will be reviewing.”

But he said the signs were designed so they could be re-skinned with larger type if necessary, rather than replaced at greater cost.

Although they were introduced primarily to point to a 12km network of routes developed for $5.9 million as safer cycling alternatives to busy Dominion Rd, they have replaced larger street signs in a number of locations. Those include four intersections along Dominion Rd.

The larger – more legible – versions will remain in storage during a trial by Auckland Transport and other council organisations to develop a standard wayfaring sign to point to community facilities throughout the Super City.

Mr Loftus said the budget covered about 100 signs and route maps installed along the Grafton Gully cycleway as well as two sets of routes parallel to Dominion Rd, for which contractors have also installed speed bumps, pathways and boardwalks, leaving only a bridge to be erected in Mt Roskill’s War Memorial Park.

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Photo Of The Day

Here’s a photograph of two Michelin men from the early 1900s.

Here’s a photograph of two Michelin men from the early 1900s.

Story Of The Michelin Man

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So much for consultation on land transport, just two options and none that says “nick off noddy”

So opening the mail we find that Auckland Council has put out a consultation document on the Long Term Plan.

Unbelievably they have inserted this question about paying for public transport.

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Garner is onto it with road safety

Duncan Garner talks about the focus on foriegn drivers and the silly ideas to force them to sit tests upon arrival.

Another horror holiday road toll, another round of national angst about foreign drivers.

It must be every motorist’s worst nightmare – rounding a corner to see more than 1000kg of metal hurtling towards you on your side of the road (regardless of the other driver’s ethnicity).

Are we being racist when it comes to foreign drivers? At first glance the numbers suggest there’s good reason for concern.

In 2013 overseas drivers were involved in at least 558 crashes resulting in death or injury. It may have been as high as 800 crashes according to the Transport Agency but they don’t collect data from every crash.

In three-quarters of the incidents, the foreigners were found at fault. Eleven of the crashes were fatal.

Grim reading. But it’s pretty clear the Government isn’t going to buckle and force visitors to sit some sort of driving test before they grab the keys to a rental car and set off on the open road.

Some safety advocates want travellers banned from renting cars unless they pass an online driving test. Some have called for drivers to sit a practical test. But that’s just not “practical” is it?

Where are these people meant to do it? Drive a car around a busy airport car park? And really, how effective would it be.

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Do you put money in the parking meter? [POLL]

When I lived in Wellington I’d park my car on the street rather than in car park buildings. I almost never put money in the meter and took the risk of getting a ticket.

I averaged about one $10 fine a week which was really cheap parking.

In Auckland I sometimes do this, and get away with it more often than not…though the fines are a bit steeper, and there are some places that it is unwise to even try.

Deborah Hill Cone uses this method too.

I don’t gamble, I don’t take drugs, I pay my GST, but I do have my own secret vice. I never buy pay and display parking vouchers. I just take the punt that I won’t get a parking ticket. And then if I do get a fine – this week $12 for five hours in the hairdresser on Ponsonby Rd – quite reasonable really – I just put it in the pile and later go online and pay them all at once.

This seems to work quite efficiently as a system. It bypasses the time and effort of standing in a line and finding change or trying to work the complicated texting option. It also gives me a wanton buzz of being naughty and, just for a moment, defying the Big Brother machinery of bureaucracy; the cheap thrill of rebellion alone is probably worth the price of any parking tickets I incur.

And every time you return to your car and find there is no fluttering ticket under your windscreen wiper you get a little frisson of victory. Yes!    Read more »

Welcome back to work, Len’s trains were stuffed as a special present for you

Len Brown’s train set welcomed people back to work by breaking down this morning.

A track fault is signalling woe for Auckland train commuters coming into the city this morning.

Auckland Transport said all lines near Britomart in Central Auckland may be affected by cancellations and delays up to 20 minutes.

The delays have been caused by a points failure outside the Britomart Tunnel.

The fault comes as many people return to work after the New Year break.

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