Twyford’s slow train to the airport

It has been revealed that Phil Twyford’s plans for light rail to the airport are fanciful and as it turns out exceedingly slow. So slow in fact that we would have one of the slowest trains to an airport in the world. Quote:

Light rail in Auckland will be one of the slowest public transport airport links in the world, a new lobby group says.

Paul Miller, of the Auckland Airport Smart Transport Group, said our biggest city has a “horrendous history” of short sighted transport projects, and light rail was not a “rapid” solution.

The newly formed group has calculated that at 45 minutes Auckland would have the fourth longest trip from the city centre to the airport out of 71 international cities.

“There are no airports with 40 million passengers that have a tram link to the airport as their primary connection,” he said.

When you get off from a 12-hour journey to the airport, do you really want to travel at 32kmh – or just jump in an Uber?

Miller said few international cities have light rail as their primary airport link, and the Government should instead look to connect to heavy rail on the southern line.

The Government had been “hijacked by a tram lobby”, and although light rail down Dominion Rd was a good idea – it shouldn’t be extended to the airport, he said.

“They’ve joined these two projects together, which we think is very shortsighted and not in the interests of Auckland’s future.” End quote.

But don’t worry, Phil Twyford knows best, as usual: Quote:

But Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the planned light rail was not about making an express service, but about building a rapid transit network across the city.

“It’s not primarily about getting people to catch a plane, or for tourists,” he said.

Most people who use that line will use it to get to and from work and education.

It’s rapid in that the light rail line is not competing with traffic most of the time.” End quote.

What a load of hogwash. Does he even think before he opens this yap? How can you say it’s not about an express service, but building a rapid transit service in the same sentence? Last time I looked 32km/h was decidedly slow, certainly not rapid.

If he thinks that trams trundling down Dominion Road will be rapid then I have news for him and it is all bad. Quote:

Twyford said a heavy rail link from the airport to the southern line would be more expensive due to cut-and-cover trench work in the airport precinct, and “heavy engineering” at the Puhinui end.

The Government would though build bus rapid transit “as a priority” from the airport to Puhinui in south Auckland, he said. End quote.

He is talking absolute rubbish. He needs to prove those claims. I fail to see how running a train line across open farm land would be more expensive than slowly inching your way the massive distance from Dominion Road to the airport and building a bridge to take the lines would be cheaper than 3km of line from Puhinui.

I once called Simon Power FIGJAM, but that was cruel. Phil Twyford far exceeds Power’s hubris and is at a level all on his own.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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