Simon Bridges

Is Simon Bridges really just a big massive socialist weasel?

Photo / Alan Gibson

Simon Bridges is the Minister of transport for the Announcements party.

I call them the Announcements Party because that is all National does these days.

Bill English announced changes to superannuation that won’t take effect until we have elected seven new governments. Paula Bennett announced 1500 new police and now we hear that Police are downsizing. They’ve also announced they are going to build eleventeen million houses and less than 50 have actually been built.

Now Simon Bridges has announced light rail to Auckland Airport…in 30 years time.

Auckland will get light rail between the CBD and the airport, it was confirmed today, but it won’t be in place for another 30 years.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced this afternoon that work will soon begin on protecting the route for a mass transit corridor between the city and the airport.    Read more »

Simon and Steve say NO! to Goff’s plans

Phil Goff wanted to get the government to tax Aucklanders for using the roads they’ve already paid for along with a specific fuel tax to fund his inherited transport pipe dreams.

That has now reached the logical conclusion it was always going to reach in an election year.

NBR reports:

Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s major platform for funding the yearly $400 million shortfall for transport projects has been run off the road.

The government has ruled out a regional fuel tax, Mr Goff’s main hope for bridging the shortfall gap.

Finance Minister Stephen Joyce said a regional fuel tax will not be introduced as “they are administratively difficult, prone to leakage and cost-spreading, and blur the accountabilities between central and local government.

Instead, Mr Joyce says the government will explore options with the council such as tolls and congestion pricing. Speaking to NBR after his first formal speech as the finance minister, Mr Joyce says Auckland is running out of room to extend the roading network after current projects are completed.    Read more »

Bridges to quit race, English’s “Dream” team is annointed

The hand over planned by John Key and Bill  English months ago now appears complete.

The bullying, standover and threats have worked and now Simon Bridges is withdrawing from the race.

Simon Bridges is expected to withdraw from the contest to be National’s deputy leader today – handing it to Paula Bennett.

Bennett had public declarations of support from 23 MPs last night to Bridges’ 10 – and was understood to have enough private support to get her over the 30 votes needed in National’s caucus of 59.

The caucus was due to vote on it on Monday, but unless there is a last minute entry at that caucus meeting it appears set to be a pro forma appointment.   Read more »

Bennett v Bridges: two token choices, either a mistake

When you are built for comfort not speed entering via the back door is often easier.

Labour are salivating over the apparent ascendancy of Paula Bennett. They are hoping like hell that Hekia Parata and her bullying team keep threatening backbenchers to declare for Paula.

They have more than enough dirt on her, including one of their own who has intimate knowledge of Paula Bennett. Then there are all the stories of her revolving door for staff and staff issues. Screaming at staff like Jake the Muss for not fixing her some eggs with alacrity isn’t really the way a deputy should behave.

Simon Bridges is promoting himself as the person to, hold Bill English in check, but he doesn’t have the bullying teams helping him that Bill English does. Affectionately known as “Justin” by his former girlfriends he is lagging behind in the deputy stakes.

Radio NZ reports:

Bill English might have cemented his position as Prime Minister but National Party MPs still have to decide who will be his deputy.

Barring any last minute candidates the MPs have to choose between westie Paula Bennett or the more urbane Simon Bridges.   Read more »

Finally we get started on decent transport links to Northland

Simon Bridges and John Key have turned the sod on a much-needed motorway to Whangarei.

The current road is a dog, and Whangarei is growing immensely. If Kaikoura showed us anything it is wise to develop alternate infrastructure as Wellington is now finding out with their crippled port. Whangarei port has been constrained by poor roading infrastructure so this motorway is welcome.

A motorway from Auckland to Whangarei has been flagged by Transport Minister Simon Bridges.

Speaking at today’s sod turning to mark the start of the $709.5 million Puhoi to Warkworth motorway, Bridges said over time the motorway would extend to Whangarei, a distance of 162km.

Prime Minister John Key and Bridges turned the first sod during a tour of roading projects north of Auckland, including a new roundabout in the township of Waimaukau.   Read more »

Simon Bridges continues to create high profile low realism Green headlines

How yawn inducing, but Simon Bridges has tried to make it sound exciting.

Christchurch International Airport is going to try out a driverless electric shuttle that can carry 15 passengers.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the airport company and HMI Technologies will start trials with the French-built Navya shuttle next year.

“The opportunity to conduct extensive research about this electric passenger transport shuttle will provide essential information about the vehicle and how it might be used in different New Zealand transport environments,” he said on Tuesday.

“Autonomous vehicles are an important part of the future of transport.”

They are but this isn’t it.    Read more »

Aucklanders: Congestion charging back on the menu as National and Len 2.0 come for your money

I don’t really think National would seriously consider introducing tolls on roads we already have paid for…especially in Auckland.

It would be political suicide. So anything the retiring root bag has to say on the matter is moot.

Aucklanders will have to pay to drive at peak times if the city is to overcome its growing traffic problems, says outgoing Auckland mayor Len Brown.

A joint transport strategy report released by the council and the Government yesterday said a dedicated project should develop ‘smarter transport pricing’ for implementation within the next ten years.

Brown said this meant a specific focus on congestion charges.    Read more »

Are you ready for your massive rates increase to pay for the blowouts in Len’s rail boondoggle

You all want the rail loop…now you get to pay for it.

The costs are ballooning. I reckon it will balloon past $8billion by the time it is operational.

The price tag on Auckland’s inner city rail link has ballooned to as much as $3.4 billion, up from earlier estimates of about $2.5b.

The Government and Auckland Council on Wednesday signed a Heads of Agreement, under which the Crown will fund 50 per cent of the City Rail Link (CRL).

The total cost of the project is estimated to be between $2.8b and $3.4b, Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges said.

Earlier estimates had put the cost at about $2.5b, although backers had said they expected that figure to rise.

Joyce said Wednesday’s agreement set out in-principle commitments from the Government and Auckland Council, and contained broader funding, governance and risk management arrangements.

[…]    Read more »

Simon Bridges gets schooled in manners

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Typical behaviour from a young third-term buffoon:

Transport Minister Simon Bridges ignored official advice to consult with councils before announcing he would allow electric cars to use bus lanes.

He now faces a backlash with one council indicating it won’t implement the policy and another considering whether to enforce it.

Documents from the Ministry show he was told it would be “important to discuss” the measure before making any form of announcement on the Government’s high-profile, multimillion-dollar bid to get more New Zealanders into electric cars. Read more »

Hide mocks National for just one more little tax

The Government now wants to charge us to drive during peak times. Our fault, apparently.

We are not spreading our road use through the day and the new charge is designed to make us do that.

Minister of Transport Simon Bridges says building more roads won’t solve the problem. That’s because we would just fill them up.

It’s hard, though – they are such a good way to get about.

The new rationing policy is called Variable Network Pricing (VNP). Its purpose is to price some of us off the road. Those who use the roads must pay for each kilometre driven.

Those priced off will have to stay at home, drive off-peak or use some other form of transport.

The VNP will need to be high to make it work. Read more »