This is the central government’s policy statement on transport. It determines what kind of transport funding is prioritized. This is in draft form and taking submissions. Due in by Wednesday 2 May.
Spokes Canterbury supports the submission made by Cycling Action Network. Expanding on this submission we reiterate and add to it.
Support for the main themes of the GPS:
a) The strategic priorities of safety; access; environment; value for money;
b) Increased funding for public transport (including rapid transit), walking, cycling and rail
c) Emphasis on integrated planning and mode neutrality;
d) A second-stage GPS ” to fully realise Government’s direction for transport investment” (draft GPS p5)
Support for underlying themes:
a) Recognizing that land use and transport are inherently linked and must be addressed together.
b) Value for money assessments must include all other transport options, land use considerations, environmental impacts.
c) Recognition that rail and sea freight along with active transport will reduce congestion, road maintenance and the need for unaffordable roading expansion.
d) Making road data and research easily available to the public.
There are some concerns which need to be addressed:
a) Allocating funding by Activity Classes that are largely defined by mode is inconsistent with the theme of “a mode neutral approach to transport planning and investment decisions” ( p23)
b) Environment (“reduces the adverse effects on the climate, local environment and public health”, p7) should be a key strategic priority (like safety and access), rather than a supporting one.
c) Continuing the very high level of funding for state highway Improvements is not consistent with the strategic priorities. Reduce state highway funding.
d) Recognising the safety implications of mode choice (e.g. the risk associated with traveling by car is roughly ten times greater than the risk of travellng by public transport).
e) Greater support for demand management, such as congestion charging and road pricing.
f) Ensuring distributional effects and equity effects of policy tools are managed properly – so the changes in transport funding and mode provision don’t hit poor people disproportionately hard.
g) Include full KPI metrics for all items to be considered in value for money assessments. Make these public to insure that assessments are applied accurately, fully and consistently across all proposals.
Additional items to be addressed:
a) Require driver education and increase license testing to target those practices which are leading to road casualties such as speed, passing, the rights of and challenges faced by vulnerable road users.
b) Increase education and promotion of active and public transit. The cultural shift away from personal single occupancy motorized vehicles will be aided by explaining the costs of this choice in dollar and environmental terms.
c) Apply the ‘Auckland Transport Alignment Project’ concept to other major centres.
d) Proposed funding for active transport is less than 3% of total budget at best and less than 1% at lower projections. Given decades of neglect, proven pent up demand and active transports proven ability to reduce congestion for the long term at the lowest cost funding should be at least 10% of the transport budget.