Twyford Gets Transport
Phil Twyford has scored the shadow transport portfolio under Labour’s new broom, David Shearer.
A wise choice especially as the MP also gets Auckland issues and is associate environment spokesman to deputy leader Grant Robertson. He’s ranked 11th on Shearer’s list which also sees Jacinda Ardern deservedly rise to the front bench at 4th as social development spokesperson.
Some weeks back AKT pushed for both Shearer and Ardern to rise to give Labour a fresh look.
Unlike his recent predecessors Darren Hughes & the often missing in action Shane Jones, Twyford has already shown an interest in the issues.
In fact in October he made a plea to the Auckland Council’s Transport Committee proposing a Northwest Busway, similar to the North Shore busway and light rail there as well.
Councillors did not vote for the option – but agreed to send his presentation to Auckland Transport officers asking for consideration of bus options for the SH16 from the bus shoulder to an actual busway.
Using an assumption of a cost of $25m per kilometre including low cost railway platform stations in the central median for 14km, he estimates the total cost at $350m. Plus a $50 million “green bridge” across the Whau River to carry buses, pedestrians and cyclists to a bus station on Rosebank Peninsula from Great North Rd at Glendene.
Twyford argued that the northwest of Auckland is currently poorly served by public transport. The Western Line does not really serve this part of West Auckland.
His bio says in the 1990s he set up Oxfam New Zealand. After four years working for Oxfam International based in Washington DC he returned home with my family. The Twyfords have a 21 year old son.
With Greens’ new spokesperson transport planner Julie Anne Genter, we should see some intelligent questioning at last of the country’s transport direction.