AA’s Unreal Reality Check
My AA membership renewal arrived this weekend – the same time as the AA put out a very silly statement meant to cast fear amongst Auckland motorists.
In the release headed… Only rich will soon ne able to afford to drive in Auckland, the AA’s Auckland transport spokesperson. cries that Auckland’s motorists are being targeted by the Council to pay for its transport vision.
And remind me, why not?
What he is talking about is the terrible shocking possibility motorists might pay for Auckland to get better public transport.
I love the way he refers to this as a “reality check.”
His statement says:
“Although the AA is supportive of improving Auckland’s public transport system, it is time for a reality check on what is both practical and achievable.”
“At the moment approximately 80% of travel in Auckland is by car. Even with public transport improvements, in 30 years time about 68% of all travel in Auckland will still be by car. The Council’s spatial plan is putting Auckland’s economy and communities at risk, and it means only the rich will be able to afford to drive in the future.”
“Auckland motorists have already paid for their roads through petrol tax and road user charges. Auckland motorists already subsidise the cost of a train trip by around 60 per cent and the cost of a bus trip by approximately 50 per cent. Now the Council wants Auckland motorists to pay the billions of dollars it will cost for train, bus and ferry improvements.”
“Auckland motorists do not have an endless supply of money. They are hurting from near record high fuel costs and they already contribute more than their fair share to the cost of Auckland transport.”
It gives us an insight for the sort of mud that will be thrown should Auckland Council manage to actually get some public transport improvements happening.
He claims the Council “seems to have conveniently forgotten its transport vision could equally be funded through debt and investment bonds.”
What nonsense. That’s not the message the Mayor has been saying in acknowledging he has to look at other financial sources as the Government will not come through with the money needed.
I can already hear certain anti-public transport people around town grabbing the statement and joining in the chorus.
It’s easy to mount a counter argument but it’s a waste of time. The moment you mention public transport, these gas-guzzling road advocates throw their hands up and cry “that’s insane.” They don’t understand why anyone would not drive.
Let’s hope the Auckland Council has the fortitude to introduce a congestion charge and give the AA the fingers.