According to the NZ Herald Keith Locke wants to make you pay to reinstate the long gone Auckland-Whangarei passenger rail service. Why?
He says "With the price of oil rising, people are looking more and more at alternatives to car travel. Sure, there are buses, but a lot of people, including myself, like train travel - it's smoother and more sociable, plus rail travels a different route to the highway."
So he likes trains, and it's for meeting people and it's a different route. Yeah man all good reasons to take more money from taxpayers. Sheesh.
He says the line needs fixing to be up to passenger standard, well it would be. However let's forget cost for a moment. There is a very simple reason why there hasn't been any passenger rail service on this line for over 30 years.
Travel time by bus - Auckland-Whangarei: 2hrs 20-40mins
Travel time by car - Auckland-Whangarei: 2hrs 20mins (if you're really really good)
Travel time by air - Auckland-Whangarei: 35min plus assume 30min check in and 1-1.5hr time to/from airports
Travel time by train (when last operating, diesel railcar)- Auckland-Whangarei; 4hrs 10min
Want to waste near 2 hours socialising and enjoying a circuitous route by train?