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Rodney Hide on Auckland’s rail fixation

Rodney Hide talks about Auckland’s rail fixation at NBR:

What bedevils Auckland are planners and their decades-old besottedness with trains.

Their single-minded commitment causes high property prices, densification, congested roads, a transport system that struggles to cope and renders Auckland stressful and difficult to do business in.

The train decision drives all others.?Because trains are the answer, the motorway system remains incomplete. To make trains less of a dog, Aucklanders must live ?compact[ly].? That drives up property prices.

We now have a modern city relying on 19th century technology. Trains are useful but only for shifting freight long distances on flat, easy landscapes. They are the worst of ways for moving people around a city like Auckland.

The basic problem is obvious to a child: Trains only go where the tracks go. And can?t pass on the same track.

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