Brian Rudman didn’t hold back in his column yesterday criticising Auckland Transport for folding under pressure of the utterly retarded Orakei Local Board, and agreeing the get rid of the Remuera Road bus lane and turn it into a T3 lane:
To eastern suburbanites stuck in rush-hour traffic on Remuera Rd, it seems there’s nothing more infuriating than being passed on the inside by a busload of commuters from less-salubrious suburbs to the south.
Local politician Ken Baguley has been on his hind legs about the inequities of it since the Remuera Rd buslane was first signalled at the old Auckland City Council back in February 2008. For four years, he and his fellow “victims” have been banging on about the evil bus lane, and finally they’ve worn the transport bureaucrats down.
Last week, Auckland Transport (AT) raised the white flag and proposed a compromise which the locals grabbed.
Instead of having to live with a nasty bus lane, Remuera will be graced with a T3 lane instead, an exclusive lane for Mummy to rush her two kids back and forth to school in the Remuera tractor, which buses will also be allowed to share.
While Remuera Road is not exactly a Dominion Road or Fanshawe Street in terms of the number of buses it carries, it is an important and increasingly popular bus route. In fact, bus use in Auckland is booming at the moment, which makes Auckland Transport’s decision even less logical, as Brian Rudman’s article points out:
What’s depressing is that AT’s backdown comes on the heels of burgeoning public transport patronage figures. If these statistics signal anything, it’s that as new life and regularity are pumped into Auckland’s long-neglected public transport network, new customers do, in rapidly expanding numbers, climb aboard the buses and trains and ferries.
The actual performance of a bus lane compared to a T3 lane obviously remains to be seen – and for that reason it’s good that this is just a trial. But the principle behind this just feels like a step in the wrong direction, especially when we are likely to need to significantly grow the bus lane network over the next few years.
I thought we were meant to be improving public transport in Auckland, not undermining it? Auckland Transport need to grow a spine on issues like these.