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Nelson: Southern link move blasted by MP

Postby MacRiada » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:10 pm

Nelson: Southern link move blasted by MP

bid to have a proposed southern route through Nelson made a road of national significance is "base politics of the worst sort" and leaves "a sword of Damocles" hanging over Victory residents, MP Maryan Street says.

Last week Nelson MP Nick Smith and Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio announced they were petitioning Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee to add the route to the Government's roads of national significance.

If the status was granted, the road would be given an increased priority for funding and consenting.

Last week Dr Smith said Nelson lacked a rail link and needed an efficient roading system. The southern route was as important to the region as any of the other roads of significance were to their respective regions.

Mr Miccio said the city council's arterial traffic study had shown there would be no problem with traffic congestion for at least 25 years, but they had to plan for the future.

Ms Street, the Nelson-based Labour list MP, said the bid was "base politics of the worst sort", with Dr Smith proceeding despite a 2004 Environment Court report, feasible alternatives, and the constant protests from the Victory area.

The move was a gift to his supporters who lived in Rocks Rd, who were fewer in number than those who live in Victory but "clearly wealthier", she said. "That matters to Nick Smith because money talks in National's language."

Mr Miccio was "trying to have a bob each way" in advance of the local body elections by saying there would not be the requisite demand for 25 years, so the Victory people were safe for a while yet.

"That simply leaves a sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of the people in that area or of anybody thinking of buying into the area, which is intolerable."

Nelson mayoral candidate Rachel Reese said she had brought up the idea of making the southern route a road of national significance at a residents' meeting last month, so she was pleased with Dr Smith's proposal.

She imagined some of those at the meeting may have been "a flea in his ear" since then.

She had always been supportive of the construction of the road, and said it was important to plan so that construction occurred proactively.

The southern route was the only way the potential of Rocks Rd and Tahunanui would be met, and there were also opportunities around opening up the seaward side of the port, she said.

Mayoral candidate Brian McGurk said the road was a "vexed issue", and was not as simple as saving one community at the expense of another.

He agreed with securing a possible future site for the route, but said currently the cost-benefit ratio did not stack up.

Safeguarding Victory from the impact of the road would be a high priority for him, he said. Next Friday he will officially launch his mayoral campaign at the Victory Community Centre. ... sted-by-MP
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Dunedin cruise image among world's worst

Postby MacRiada » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:13 pm

Dunedin cruise image among world's worst

Dunedin's reputation with cruise lines is among the world's worst, and behind the soured image are badly behaved tour operators, Cruise New Zealand says.

Complaints have been made about tour operators fighting among themselves, sleeping in vehicles to secure prime positions and being abusive to cruise passengers at Port Chalmers.

Port Otago has banned operators from the wharf for the next summer cruise season.

Cruise New Zealand chairman Craig Harris said allowing tour operators to solicit business on the wharf at Port Chalmers "perplexed" cruise lines.

"Nowhere else in the world are tour operators allowed on the wharf, and for good reason," Mr Harris said.

Cruise lines paid to berth at ports and expected a high level of security for passengers and crew.

They also expected passengers to be able to move freely between cruise ships and destinations without being harassed by tour operators, Mr Harris said.

No other ports in New Zealand allowed private tour operators on wharves.

Port Otago commercial manager Peter Brown said a "small minority" of tour operators were at fault.

Up to 47 tour providers accessed the wharf each cruise day during the 2012-13 season.

But the season was "the worst on record" for operator behaviour on the wharf.

Port Otago received complaints directly from passengers, cruise lines and other tour operators, as well as an expression of concern from Cruise New Zealand.

Some operators "presented poorly" after sleeping in their vehicles outside Port Otago gates, fought among themselves, abused passengers, delayed tours to secure more passengers and changed tour itineraries after passengers had paid for specific tours.

Some taxi drivers accessed the wharf as taxis then changed their operation to tour providers, Mr Brown said.

It reflected badly on Port Otago, as well as Port Chalmers and Dunedin as a cruise destination, he said.

"The key thing for us is we have to provide a good experience for passengers and present a good front for Dunedin and Port Chalmers."

From October i-site staff will operate a marquee on the wharf to welcome passengers and organise tours.

They will collect payments, take a 12.5 per cent commission and call tour operators to pick up paid passengers.

Before the season starts all tour operators must register and undergo "familiarisation" with i-site staff, detailing tour itineraries, employees, minimum party sizes and vehicles used.

They must comply with operating guidelines set by i-site staff and wait outside the port gate until called.

All passengers not already booked on train or cruise ship tours will be channelled through the i-site marquee when leaving the wharf.

To date, 84 cruise ship bookings had been confirmed for the coming season. Last season comprised 89 bookings. ... d=10894005

New cruise rules worry operators

Tourism operators at Port Chalmers wharf are apprehensive over Port Otago changes set to begin this summer cruise ship season.

After reports of unruly behaviour from a small minority of tourism operators competing with one another, Port Otago said it had little option but to put a blanket ban on all operators, barring them from operating from the wharf.

Port Otago chief executive Geoff Plunket said it was a case of a few, about five or six, reflecting badly on the whole of Dunedin.

Port Otago had received complaints directly from passengers, cruise lines and other tour operators, as well as an expression of concern from Cruise New Zealand.

However, some operators, who received the news only yesterday, felt uneasy about the move and believed the new format could mean lost business.

Bookings will now be placed in the hands of the Dunedin City Council's i-site, which will take a 12.5% commission before passing bookings on to the 40-plus operators who work at peak season.

One tourist operator, who asked not to be named, said she was not notified by Port Otago about a ''secret meeting for a select few'' last month to discuss possible remedies to the ''unprofessional behaviour'' at the wharf.

She had previously written to the council describing the ''foul play'' of a ''trio'' of operators, but had not received a reply.

No-one from the council was available to comment on the matter yesterday.

Actions by the trio included verbal abuse, pushing and shoving and car blocking, which prevented one tourist operator from taking tours.

The woman said the issues spiralled out of control late last year as competition increased.

Operators began to work on a ''first-in first-served basis'', which led to one man sleeping in his tour bus overnight and washing in the port basins in the morning before taking customers on paid tours, she said.

''They were behaving like schoolchildren. Not showering and not brushing your teeth is not a good look for a tourist operator.''

No other ports in New Zealand allowed private tour operators on wharves. The woman was concerned even with the new i-site booking system introduced, the ''trouble makers'' were still able to operate.

She hoped the new system would not mean the loss of the private commission customers she had worked hard to get.

''I don't think it's going to be a level playing field at all.''

Dunedin i-site manager Louise van de Vlierd said while a small minority had caused the problem at the wharf, she welcomed Port Otago's new rulings.

She said no operator would be disadvantaged.

Exploring New Zealand Ltd director Andrew Rutherford also had concerns smaller operators were likely to lose work and that pushing operators off the wharf would only shift the problem.

He admitted he had slept in his tour bus on the wharf to claim prime position for customers from the cruise ships, but said he was not the only one.

Good Company's owner/operator Richard Trainer agreed something had to be done.

Some operators had turned up at peak season ''trying to make a quick buck'' by poaching business from those who worked out of the port year-round.

''I'm not sure what the answer is, but I am concerned it will affect my business.''

Mr Trainer had already been dealing with i-site for his customers, but said it would be harder to represent his business if he could not physically be on the wharf.

''What does concern me is, is it going to just shift the problem further into town?''Monarch Cruises director John Milburn was pleased some action had been taken.

Mr Milburn, who has been operating out of Port Chalmers for 15 years, said he had never seen things as bad as last season. ... -operators
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Red Bus' ticket to ride punched in city

Postby MacRiada » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:52 pm

Red Bus' ticket to ride punched in city

Red Bus made a piddly profit last year, $84,000 after bringing in nearly $18 million in revenue. It paid no dividend to the city.

Admittedly the Christchurch City Council-owned bus company has taken a big beating from the earthquakes, but so have the other operators.

Its patronage in the year to June 2012, 3.7 million passengers, was only a third of what it was before the quakes. The results for this current year to the end of June will not be available until August.

A week ago Christchurch city councillors broached the idea of discussing the possible sale of some "strategic" assets, such as Red Bus.

The council has a reputation for religiously protecting its trading companies from outsiders. It would be a big deal if it put Red Bus, a so-called "strategic asset", on the block. So who might be interested in buying it and is it a strong operator?

The biggest urban bus services in New Zealand is NZ Bus which owns and runs the buses in Wellington and Auckland. It is owned by a well-known investor in "infrastructure", Infratil, a public company which trades on the New Zealand sharemarket. As well as buses it's into petrol stations - it is half owner of Z Energy - ports, airports and electricity companies.

Infratil might - a big might - be interested in Red Bus but it has bigger fish to fry these days.

NZ Bus director Tim Brown said its interest in Red Bus was "very small" but he wouldn't say it was zero.

Its focus was on its Auckland and Wellington operations because of beneficial changes taking place in public transport spending. They are being brought in through the Land Transport Management Amendment Bill 2012 which has passed its second reading in Parliament.

It recently sold its Whangarei bus business for $6 million, a price that was 6 times the business' "gross" profit - which is earnings before taking off interest, tax and depreciation, Brown said.

If the 6 times multiple is applied to Red Bus' "gross" profit in 2012, and the insurance payments were taken out of the calculation, the value of the Red Bus business would come out at about $10m.

The council's investment arm, Christchurch City Holdings (CCHL), has Red Bus valued in its 2012 accounts at $23m.

That is based on valuing the buses and company property, not based on earnings. The CCHL valuation will be updated this year once it receives new values for Red Bus' land and buildings which are revalued every three years.

In the past two years Red Bus has bought 15 buses and sold 37. It's not clear how that would impact on the valuation of $23m.

If other assets are sold by the city, Infratil's eyes are on the bigger prizes.

"The stuff we would be more interested in in Christchurch would be the Port of Lyttelton or Christchurch Airport," Brown said.

Ritchies is the second biggest bus business in the country, by its own reckoning, and is family-owned. Director Andrew Ritchie said: "There would be interest from our company if it was put up for sale."

But he reckons the size of Red Bus would limit who could afford to buy it. "It would be too big for a lot of operators to take on."

A business was valued on its earnings, so profitability determined its worth, he said.

"It's (Red Bus) not a very profitable business so it's not going to be worth a lot." A potential buyer would say that though.

Red Bus does not place its annual report on its website for Christchurch ratepayers to read. If you want to see it you have to ask. It defends this sort of secrecy by saying it does not want its competitors to see its figures.

There is a strong argument that a ratepayer-owned company should inform its shareholders- the ratepayers - how well or not it is doing.

Ritchie reckons it's because Red Bus is not doing well that it hides its annual report. If the performance was stellar the company would produce the figures, he said. By the same token Ritchies does not reveal its figures. It's a private company owned by himself and his uncle and does not have to.

Hamilton's Go Bus is the country's third biggest operator. Director Clive Worth was a bit cagey about commenting because Go Bus is in the process of buying Leopard Coachline's Christchurch bus business - about 90 buses and 180 staff - and that would almost double Go Bus' business here, taking it to two-thirds of the city bus trade.

The purchase will leave only two operators in the city - Go Bus and Red Bus - so it's hard to see the competition regulator, the Commerce Commission, allowing Go Bus to buy Red Bus and have a monopoly. Worth said it had been apparent for a while that there was only enough business now for two operators.

"There would be a number of operators who would be interested. We would be the least likely," Worth said, acknowledging the competition hurdles.

The other business that might be interested in buying Red Bus is Souter Holdings, owned by Scottish bus tycoon Sir Brian Souter.

It has buses and ferries in Wellington and Auckland.

However a spokesman could not be contacted.

Brown of Infratil reckons Red Bus is too small for overseas investors to be interested, but Ritchie and Worth think otherwise.

Ritchie says he could "rattle off" 20 overseas operators who would have a look at it.

So, one of the questions for councillors is whether Red Bus can regain strong profits and contribute to city coffers.

A bigger question is whether the city council should be in the business or be running buses at all. ... ed-in-city
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TranzAlpine uses buses to bypass Otira Tunnel

Postby MacRiada » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:27 pm

TranzAlpine uses buses to bypass Otira Tunnel

Passengers on the TranzAlpine train service will now have to disembark and board a bus around the Otira Tunnel, as questions are raised over its fire safety.

KiwiRail announced the change yesterday, after consultation with the NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

From today, train passengers will now have to temporarily board a bus for the 14-kilometre journey between Arthur's Pass and Otira in both directions.

KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said the decision had been made as a "precautionary measure" due to a risk of fire in the tunnel.

"The likelihood of a fire occurring in Otira Tunnel is very low. However, KiwiRail feels it is prudent to do everything we can to minimise any possible risk to our passengers," he said.

"The Otira Tunnel, in particular, poses some more difficult challenges in terms of risk mitigation due not only to its length at over 8 kilometres, but also because of its gradient, its remoteness from emergency services, the presence of coal dust, and the complex operating regime with automatic doors and large fans to draw air into the tunnel."

The train would still travel through the tunnel and meet passengers on the other side.

"KiwiRail staff are trained to respond to emergency situations, our passengers are not," Quinn said.

There had been "no specific incident or concern" to trigger the event, a KiwiRail spokeswoman said, and the change came as a result of "constant monitoring of infrastructure".

Funding had been committed to make further improvements to the tunnel.

Fire suppressant equipment would be installed on all trains on the TranzAlpine route, in addition to fire detection systems already installed. ... k-to-train
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Man dies after being hit by steam train

Postby MacRiada » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:21 pm

Man dies after being hit by steam train

A man is dead after being hit by a steam locomotive near Greymouth.

Greymouth police said the man, a local, was a number of bystanders watching the locomotive enroute from Christchurch to the West Coast in the Kokiri area east of Greymouth around 6pm yesterday.

It is believed the man was taking photos of the locomotive when he was struck, police said in a statement.

He was taken to hospital with serious head and leg injuries and later died.

Mainland Steam operations manager Michael Tolich said the train's staff, including the driver, had all been offered counselling. However, at this stage they were coping well.

"It's been a tragic accident," he said.

The train is currently making its return trip to Christchurch as scheduled.

Its arrival into Greymouth was delayed for about two hours.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing. ... team-train
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Re: Media Articles

Postby eurokiwi78 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:28 am

From stuff, gerrys road rebuilding plan for christchurch is out today. Im picking lots of wide high speed roads and lots of carparking buildings. Will generation zero come up with a cfn like they have done for auckland and wellington?

The long-awaited Christchurch transport plan, which will shape how people and motorists move around the city, will be unveiled this afternoon.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has called a media conference for 4pm where he will reveal the document "An Accessible City'' which is the transport chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan.

That plan will include details on future road layouts, one-way streets, how pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private vehicles will travel around the central city as well as information on speed limits, parking and streetscapes.

The report's key focus is on the way people travel into and around the city, and how the streets will look as the central area redevelops.

Brownlee has been criticised for taking too long to release the plan but it is understood it was formally signed off by Cabinet only yesterday.

Nearly 300 submissions were received during a public consultation process earlier this year.


November 2012 - Brownlee announces the draft transport plan for the central city is open for public consultation. 

February 1, 2013 - Public consultation closes.

March 2013 - Final transport plan to be taken to the Cabinet for approval.

May 30, 2013 - Brownlee has yet to present the final transport chapter to the Cabinet.

June 27, 2013 - Brownlee announces cost-sharing arrangement for anchor projects.

July 1, 2013 - Brownlee's office receives a briefing on the final transport chapter.

August 9, 2013 - The CCDU says the Cabinet paper is being finalised.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby locost_bryan » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:47 pm

eurokiwi78 wrote:From stuff, gerrys road rebuilding plan for christchurch is out today. Im picking lots of wide high speed roads and lots of carparking buildings. Will generation zero come up with a cfn like they have done for auckland and wellington?

Quite the opposite, it would appear. 30km/h in most of the central city, and a lack of parking.
Christchurch's new transport has met with approval from politicians and advocates, winning praise for having taken on board pleas from residents.

A revamped public transport system, improved cycling and pedestrian networks and a lower central -ity speed limit were yesterday welcomed by prominent city figures.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the plan captured many of the wishes the city expressed during its Share An Idea campaign last year.

"If we were looking for words on what the people of Christchurch said then, they said they wanted a clean, green, safe and accessible city ... with this plan's release, we see that vision taking some reality."

The council was "very pleased" to be associated with its launch, although she conceded it was a plan many people had been waiting a long time to see.

Rob Woods, Environment Canterbury's (ECan) earthquake recovery and transport programme manager, said the plan included everything the regional council had been lobbying for.

A focus had been on the public transport system, which had been "a happening thing before the earthquakes, so we want to get back to there and improve it".

Concerns about "nose-to-tail buses" in the central city had been addressed by limiting the number of buses travelling through the centre of town and forming bus routes to travel through the central business district and then carry on through the suburbs, he said.

ECan hoped to implement further traffic management plans to ease congestion that caused buses to fall behind schedule, particularly in heavily congested areas such as Riccarton Rd.

"What we're hoping for here is looking at traffic-light phasing and giving maybe buses a hand at traffic lights, or looking at some bus laning along the road," Woods said.

Canterbury-based Green Party MP Eugenie Sage applauded the cycle-priority routes, provisions for cycle parking at the extended bus stops, and improved access around the city for pedestrians and people with disabilities.

"It's good to see the response to public submissions," she said.

However, she believed the plan should be rolled out to the suburbs to encompass the entire city.

"We need to see constant provision for improved cycling, walking and public transport across the city; it's no good just doing it in the CBD," she said.

Labour's Christchurch transport spokeswoman, Megan Woods, said the plan had taken too long but there was "some good stuff in there".

She had some concerns about keeping most of the city's one-way system intact. which would put pressure on many road users, especially emergency services.

She liked the slowing down of the central city, which essentially becomes a 30kmh zone.

She said Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee had wasted too much time in refusing to release the plan earlier and she "just want to see it happen now".


Real estate entrepreneur Stephen Collins said there was a ''lot of good stuff in the plan'', but detail on one major issue was lacking.

''In terms of parking ... it's just not clear who is leading what nowadays. The bottom line is carparking remains a key issue and the plan doesn't fully address it,'' he said.

The Accessible City plan says parking will be provided within private developments, but is not compulsory.

''A maximum [parking for private developments] has been prescribed to manage the number of vehicles overall within the zone consistent with the pedestrian-friendly focus,'' it states.

Parking buildings will be located on the perimeter or outside the new core CBD and will have ''active ground-floor frontages''.

However, the timing of their development and their exact location will match demand and development in the central city, the plan says.

Collins said in that time the CBD would not be able to compete with malls.

''The reason the malls are so successful and the central city was in decline [before the earthquakes] is because you can go to a shopping centre, park right outside, you don't have to pay and it's easy.''

Collins said he would continue pushing for long-term certainty over parking.

''While I'm all for having better public transport ... and a pedestrian-friendly CBD, people are not going to stop bringing their cars in,'' he said.

Canterbury rich-lister Philip Carter last month said he had lost tenants because Christchurch City Council inaction over the Crossing parking building in Lichfield St was holding up his City Mall development next door.

Ballantynes managing director Mary Devine recently told The Press the city would struggle to attract retailers and investors until there was "long-term certainty around parking".

Current parking facilities were coping, she said, but there would be an influx of people into the area in the coming months as construction of the justice precinct, bus interchange and private developments got under way.

A spokesman for Brownlee said parking was much more of a council issue than a Crown one.

A Christchurch Central Development Unit spokeswoman said it was important the council took the lead on parking because Cera would "not be around forever".


Simone Pearson is now "excited" about raising her young family in Christchurch's transforming inner city.

The Chester St East Residents' Association chairwoman said it was pleasing the transport plan appeared to have taken into account requests from the public.

"It's a very cursory glance, but it looks quite similar to the draft," she said.

With two young children, Pearson has long been an advocate of a pedestrian and cycle-friendly inner city.

She was "delighted" to see the introduction of a 30kmh speed limit, the "good, gutsy bus stops going in" and the improvements to the cycling network.

However, she thought other arms of the central city's one-way system, which she likened to "big motorways rushing through the city", should also be removed.

"I don't think the changes to the one-way system go far enough. In my view, the one-way system system - Madras, Barbadoes, Montreal, Durham - all create this big thoroughfare ... instead of taking people to the city, people use these to go through the city."

Pearson said the parking strategy needed further attention to have fewer parks available in the long term.

While a long period of roadworks ahead would undoubtedly have a big impact, she was looking forward to being at the heart of the transformation - and her children were too.


Inner-city businesses could cash in from the Government's transport plan, Central City Business Association chairman Antony Gough says.

"I think they'll [the changes will] help [businesses] ... It's a really good result. I'm fully supportive of it," Gough said yesterday.

The property developer said he backed the plan as it was "sending all the right messages out" - creating a more pedestrian and cycle-friendly central city, and more inviting space.

He felt the 30kmh speed limit was a "great idea" and would help make cyclists and pedestrians feel safer, as well as create a "calmer" atmosphere.

Gough believed the lower speed limit would also stop people using the inner city as a shortcut thoroughfare.

He was also pleased to see Salisbury and Kilmore streets converted into two-way streets, which were "more desirable" for businesses and retailers than one-way streets, and would further slow traffic.

But he was concerned there was no mention about addressing the inner-city's lack of parking.

"Carparking is becoming a critical issue. It's a major worry for central-city businesses," he said.

Gough believed the council needed to now turn its attention to reopening a central-city carpark building, starting with Lichfield St.


The Government has defended the delayed release of its Christchurch transport plan, saying it was only fair the newly elected city council laid eyes on the document first.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee had been criticised in some quarters for not releasing the plan once it was finalised back in March after public consultation.

He said yesterday it was important the plan did not conflict with the local body election campaign.

"I think it was important we didn't leap ahead and start announcing plans then [during the campaign]."

It was "worthwhile" for the new council to see the plan first as it was an important partner, Brownlee said.

The cost-sharing agreement between the Crown and council was only formalised in July, too, "so it was important everybody knew what they were up for", he said.

New Mayor Lianne Dalziel and several city councillors fronted with Brownlee as he unveiled the plan and seemed to agree with his rationale.

But the delay did not wash with Labour's Christchurch transport spokeswoman, Megan Woods, who said Brownlee had consistently gone against the advice of his officials who urged him to release it earlier.

"We've been waiting for this for some time now and there's no real excuse why it has taken this long," she said.

Brownlee had"dragged the chain" when work could have started on plan features months ago.

The Cabinet formally approved the plan this week.

- © Fairfax NZ News
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Re: Media Articles

Postby eurokiwi78 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:30 pm

locost_bryan wrote:
eurokiwi78 wrote:From stuff, gerrys road rebuilding plan for christchurch is out today. Im picking lots of wide high speed roads and lots of carparking buildings. Will generation zero come up with a cfn like they have done for auckland and wellington?

Quite the opposite, it would appear. 30km/h in most of the central city, and a lack of parking.

Yes, a pleasant surprise, plus i notice there is an open swathe of green land from the main north line near addington all the way to the central interchange. Im sure its not been left there for the future intentionally but it looks ripe for a canterbury britomart at some future point.

As long as the plan doesnt get watered down to appease the tarmac foamers it could be quite a people friendly cbd
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Re: Media Articles

Postby MacRiada » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:32 pm

I think there is a major problem with how cycle and pedestrian focused it is, even to the expense of public transport.

This could be easily mitigated with a last mile service for inside of the CBD (a new battery electric bus, modern tram or whatever), but is completely missing from the report. There is mention of the idea of a last mile service in the report, but it treats as something to look at latter, rather than something that is integral to the system due to the limiting of the bus corridors.

When it comes to public transport there is nothing new in the plan apart from the limiting of the bus corridors and the "super stops", although they have been planned since before the earthquake and there already are two in the suburbs which have been build this year. The bus exchange only is going to have 10 million spent on it and is going to be about the size of the last one.

eurokiwi78 wrote:Yes, a pleasant surprise, plus i notice there is an open swathe of green land from the main north line near addington all the way to the central interchange. Im sure its not been left there for the future intentionally but it looks ripe for a canterbury britomart at some future point.

Do you mean The Frame?

That is still going to have buildings on it, only with less intensity or how they describe it as "providing an attractive campus-style environment for businesses".

If part of that was to be used then it would have to be organised now rather at some future point.

The frame is what I suggested to be used for a fake light rail line into CBD using DMUs/Railcars in the commuter rail thread.
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Railing against the city's transport plan

Postby MacRiada » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:55 pm

Railing against the city's transport plan

OPINION: Open slather for motorists whatever they drive, same old parking set-up, not a train in sight. Is that a transport plan, asks Dave Moore?

As a motorist, I was amazed that so little restriction has been placed upon me by the latest transport plan. I only have to suffer slightly lower speeds which are about as quick as I manage to achieve now anyway.

Accompanied by, from one to six empty seats (car-sharing is not a strong point in Christchurch), in vehicles often weighing more than two and a half tonnes, a motorist's half to three-quarter hour crawl to the city is serious misuse of both the vehicle and the road, but we're not really being encouraged to use any other mode of transport.

Why are the users of larger, more profligate vehicles afforded as much access as sensible, clean, petroleum-sippers, hybrids and plug-in EVs? What happened to the potential network for electric cars that was being looked at long before the earthquakes?

Then there's parking. Has anyone investigated how the commuting public feels about being forced back into multi-storey carparks, in which scores of cars were marooned after the February earthquake? Handy, rubble-strewn areas of free or cheap parking won't be there forever.

One-way to two-way routing looks logical, but with roadworks often turning multi-lane routes into single-lane trickles, the choking-up on some routes is alarming. Let's just hope they get this right.

The absence of a rail component in the transport plan is lamentable.

Those snarled in stationary traffic when travelling into the city from most directions must wonder why the railways they cross or drive parallel to cannot be used for something besides tourism and freight - like moving commuters, for instance.

I have friends in Rolleston, Amberley, Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Darfield, Lyttelton and points between and beyond who would gladly give up the car and take to a commuter train, if only there was one.

The relief that rail links could offer is starkly obvious. Once cars get to the city's outskirts, the tailbacks can be horrendous. If a good number of commuters used rail instead of road, much pressure could be eased from roads, parks and people.

Mainline rail appears to have been tarred with the same brush that has tainted light rail.

There is a difference. Light rail requires the purchase of land, rolling stock and the development of its own infrastructure. Mainline infrastructures are already in place and are maintained and serviced for the tourists, coal and other commerce they carry every day.

Christchurch would be able to employ older Auckland rolling stock as it moves to electrification, while commercially franchised commuter stations could be established along potential routes, where ticketing facilities, coffee shops and other outlets could be established. Franchisees would also enjoy profits from park and ride services.

A main commuter rail hub could be established on the site of the former Moorhouse Ave railway station (there's irony for you) from where travellers could walk, bus and cycle the rest of their way to work or entertainment.

Ideally, I'd love to leave my electric car charging at a country station, grab my latte and newspaper, swipe the boarding pass on my smartphone and step aboard the train. Having sorted my emails on the ride in, I'd turn up at the office in a stress-free state, and with some colour in my cheeks after the final kilometre on foot.

It's a simple and achievable wish. ... sport-plan
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Re: Media Articles

Postby locost_bryan » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:56 am

Wow, considering Dave Moore is the local rag's long-time motoring editor, that's a revelation. :o

Agree with him 100%. Also, with many of the firms displaced from the CBD having relocated to business parks alongside the MSL (from Addington down to Hornby), an even greater incentive. :)
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Re: Media Articles

Postby MacRiada » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:15 pm

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Re: Media Articles

Postby matthew25187 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:35 am

The return of the Christchurch Transport Board?
Council eyes new transport body

The city council is looking at establishing a new authority to manage public transport in greater Christchurch.

Responsibility for the provision of public passenger transport lies with Environment Canterbury (ECan) but the responsibility for providing the infrastructure to support public transport, such as bus stops, shelters, and interchanges, rests with the city council.

The arrangement has caused considerable tension over the years because the council has not been willing to put as much money into public transport infrastructure as ECan would like and it has often provided it much later than wanted.

It took the council months longer than promised to deliver a new superstop at Northlands. It is also behind schedule in delivering a superstop and passenger waiting lounge at Riccarton.

The council has now voted to investigate the potential of establishing a fully-integrated transport authority that would look after all aspects of public transport in the greater Christchurch area.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby greenwelly » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:56 pm

Not gonna happen while CCC owns Red Bus thou,
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Re: Media Articles

Postby matthew25187 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:28 am

Canterbury's love of cars revealed

Cantabrians love their cars. The province has one of the highest proportions of households in the country with access to three or more vehicles.

At 19.1 per cent, it is second only to the Tasman region (19.5 per cent), 2013 census data from Statistics New Zealand show.

Canterbury has one of the lowest levels of car-less households (after Tasman and Marlborough) at just 6.5 per cent.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby madras » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:34 pm

Canterbury has one of the lowest levels of car-less households (after Tasman and Marlborough) at just 6.5 per cent.

Wellington has the highest, at 11.1 per cent.

AA general manager motoring affairs Mike Noon said that could be because of the capital's "reasonably good" public transport system.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby matthew25187 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:35 am

Hardly a surprise...
Buses use plummets, cycling rises in Christchurch

Commuter patterns in Christchurch have changed dramatically post earthquakes, with employees travelling to the new business capitals of south Riccarton and Middleton.

The trend has seen company car use increase. One in five people in Waimakariri and Selwyn commuted via company vehicle on census day.

A Statistics New Zealand report on greater Christchurch commuter patterns said changes were due to the exodus of workers from the central city post earthquakes.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby dave the rave » Fri May 08, 2015 8:16 am

with a further reduction in the Stockton mine operation, I wonder what the impact will be on the midland line coal trains? Does anyone know roughly how many coal trains there are a day? How many serve Stockton specifically? what other mines are there on the coast that use rail? Are all mines struggling or just this one??
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Re: Media Articles

Postby greenwelly » Fri May 08, 2015 10:26 am

dave the rave wrote:with a further reduction in the Stockton mine operation, I wonder what the impact will be on the midland line coal trains? Does anyone know roughly how many coal trains there are a day? How many serve Stockton specifically? what other mines are there on the coast that use rail? Are all mines struggling or just this one??

The midland line is gonna take a pasting, The reductions at Stockton are not a single mine issue, they are industry wide, Coal prices have gone from $US 300/Tonne 4 years ago to $US 80/tonne today,

In 2013 Stockton produced 1.9 million tonnes, that was cut to 1.4 million in 2014 and after yesterday's cuts it will be down to 1 million tonnes per year.

Kiwirail's gonna be looking at a 50% fall in coal over the line next year...
(while Westland might be increasing dairy production slightly, its small beer, maybe a extra 20-50,000 tonne annually, which is nothing to a near 1 million tonne reduction in coal shipments....)
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Re: Media Articles

Postby MacRiada » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:28 am

Ports go head on in battle for container traffic
Rival ports Lyttelton and Tauranga-Timaru are pouring resources into Rolleston industrial hubs as they go head to head to win export volumes. The ports are each spending tens of millions on container handling facilities located within just a kilometre or so of each other. They are also changing roading patterns in the surrounding district, aiming to reducing truck movements in central Christchurch but adding some in and around the Rolleston township.


The number of trucks running through Brougham Street and central Christchurch should eventually reduce as more containers, containing agricultural and manufactured products, are put on trains at the Rolleston hubs. The growth of Rolleston as a business centre has Selwyn District Council considering traffic options including a flyover across State Highway 1, joining the residential and industrial halves of the town. Joining the two ports in the industrial sector is the Carter Group which bought 122 hectares of lifestyle and farmland in 2013 to develop an industrial park. The land has subsequently been rezoned. The Christchurch-based Carters have aligned with Lyttelton Port of Christchurch, which took 27ha of the total.

Handling efficiencies and ship calls will help exporters and truck firms decide between the two hubs.. So far truckies have been diplomatic as to which port they might choose. One trucking boss said it was the exporters not the truck firms that chose which ports to export through. Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said the North Island company was making good progress to win back container business for PrimePort Timaru. POT spent $21.6 million on a 50 per cent stake in PrimePort Timaru in 2013. "I just think we're very pleased with the investment and it will dovetail well with the bigger ships calling in to Tauranga next year." It also started a new company, Timaru Container Terminal Ltd (TCT South), in which freight-based Kotahi has taken a 49.9 per cent stake. Kotahi is a joint venture between export dairy giant Fonterra and meat processor Silver Fern Farms.

As part of that strategy it was spending in the order of $20m on stage one of a Rolleston Izone development including the land purchase, and paving plus some associated services including a rail line. "What we're really trying to do (with the Kotahi deal) is make sure the trains are full both ways, that the empty containers are used appropriately ...". "We will be working with customers to make sure we have an import (order) box coming into the site, and then an export box to match it going out to Timaru." PoT planned to have the Izone site open late in July. "We're pleased with the progress, we've got the rail spur (built) into the site. That's complete," Cairns said.

In late 2013, Cairns said his focus on the shareholding was restoring cargo to the Timaru port. Primeport had previously handled 80,000 containers on an annual basis, but that had fallen to around 20,000. This week he said that PoT expected container volumes to be back in the vicinity of 80,000 TEU's on an annual basis. LPC chief executive Peter Davie said the port's inland port near the Carter Group land would launch in the fourth quarter but only as a road-based service. It would be fully operational with the additional rail service early in 2016 to help cater to the increasing regional agricultural productivity with direct rail connection to points west and south of Rolleston. "It is strategically located adjacent to the main south rail line that connects to the Lyttelton Container Terminal, giving a direct link to the 14 shipping lines and nine shipping services that call at the port," Davie said.

LPC chairman Trevor Burt said there would be major benefits for businesses and the entire region from the development. "It is part of our long term vision to meet future freight demands and gear up for growth."

Selwyn District deputy mayor Sarah Walters said the potential impact of extra road and rail traffic into the township and surrounding area has already been the subject of many studies. Selwyn District has been part of of a Rolleston Roading Strategy Group, backed by council chief executive David Ward. Others in the "informal" group include Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC), Port of Tauranga, NZ Transport Agency, Carter Group, iZone and KiwiRail. Walters said a flyover from the residential side of the township, across State Highway One and on to the land for commercial development northeast of Rolleston had been costed at around $41 million. It was in the council's long term plan and earmarked for 2021/22. The iZone park was already the base for more than 700 workers. NZ Trucking Association chief executive David Boyce said both PoT and Lyttelton's sites "will certainly be used".

The work that Selwyn council was doing to ensure the roading was up to scratch included monitoring traffic flows around the Jones and Hoskyns Rds which are close to the council-owned Izone site. "They've worked out there was going to be about 650 movements a day, accessing the area (and) the inland ports," Boyce said. SDC's Walters said a potential flyover would help Rolleston residents cross a busy State Highway 1 when the Christchurch southern motorway was extended further towards Rolleston in 2019. The flyover would run from the corner of Rolleston Drive and Kidman St, across the highway to Jones and Hoskyns roads in the industrial area. "It's recognised that we do need to connect both halves of the district," Walters said. Funding for a flyover would be shared amongst different groups including the council and NZTA. ... er-traffic

It's pretty good news from the sound of it.

The Lyttelton line/Main South line out to Rolleston looks like it could become quite a bit busier in the near future. The only problem is that a cycle track is planed to be built on the rail corridor from Rolleston to Heathcote, so increasing the number of (rail)roads to meet demand is not going to be possible.
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