Campaigners criticising a proposed project is one thing. Politicians criticising a proposed project is another thing. But when independent transport experts find gaping flaws in the claimed benefits underlying a proposal, then that proposed project has a problem.
And that’s exactly the situation with the proposed Basin Reserve flyover. A series of traffic and transportation peer review reports from consultants appointed by the Board of Inquiry has shown damning holes, inconsistencies and grossly inflated claims in NZTA’s proposals – faults that NZTA and its experts have chosen to gloss over.
You can find those reports here: http://www.epa.govt.nz/Resource-management/Basin_Bridge/ReportsAdvice/Pages/default.aspx under the heading “Traffic and Transportation peer review report” towards the bottom of the page.
Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson has highlighted one of thesee key issues in a recent press release, reported on Wellington Scoop:
To quote from the statement:
The travel time saved by the proposed Basin Reserve flyover amounts to only 90 seconds, not the claimed seven-and-a-half minutes, a new statement by experts and witnesses shows, Labour’s MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson says.
“This flyover is costing $90 million but in the end will only save commuters 90 seconds. That is a colossal waste of money when they are other alternatives available to improve traffic flow.
“The claim has been made that the flyover will give seven-and-a-half minutes of travel time savings, but in material released late last week. The experts now agree six of those minutes actually come from a third lane in the Memorial Park tunnel and changes to the Taranaki Street intersection. These are completely separate developments from the flyover.
“It is significant that witnesses and experts agree on this. It puts into question the cost benefit claims about the project and should weigh heavily on the Board of Inquiry.
And of course, Grant Robertson is far from the only politician to criticise the proposed flyover. In addition to Labour, the Greens, United Future, New Zealand First and Mana have all expressed opposition to the proposed flyover. All these parties recognise a crock when they see one. It’s a pity NZTA and the Government are too blinded by their own arrogance to see the fatal flaws in its proposal.
PS: Here’s the same story covered by the Dominion Post: http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/9706340/Flyover-to-shave-90-seconds-off-trip