Sunday, September 21, 2008

Greens release transport (religion) policy

Yes, what a surprise, the Green Party's transport policy continues to worship at the altar of the environmentalist religion. It's pretty simple:

Cars are bad - slow them down, tax them more, spend more of the taxes taken from them on people using other modes of transport. Make them more expensive to own and to drive, people don't like them anyway (they are dependent on them, like a drug).

Trucks are bad - slow them down, tax them more, spend more of the taxes taken from them on companies using other modes of transport. Regulate them to be smaller, use less roads.

Trains are good - Spend other people's money on upgrading tracks, electrifying them, don't tax them, subsidise them, do all you can to provide more lines, more services, reduce fares, don't really pay any attention as to whether they are used.

Buses are quite good - Spend other people's money on bus stations, trolley buses, don't tax them, subsidise them, get local government to control them more, reduce fares, provide more services, turn a blind eye to when they are empty.

Bikes are great - Spend other people's money on bike lanes, bikes even, subsidise them, give them away.

Planes are bad - However the state should run them, tax them a lot, regulate them, don't tell people it makes overseas travel more expensive, even though it does.

Well that's without reading it, but what does it actually say? Let's ignore the mindless nonsense about the transport system being biased in favour of cars and trucks (which means that users prefer them, there is no bias since almost all central government transport funding comes from taxing cars and trucks!). Jeanette complains that 20% of the National Land Transport Fund is spent on public transport, cycling and walking, ignoring that almost all of the money COMES from cars and trucks, and that half of the money goes on road maintenance. Evading inconvenient facts is something religious evangelists often like to do.

She wants two-thirds of the National Land Transport Fund money to go on public transport, cycling and walking - which, as I have pointed out before, will result in roads going without necessary maintenance becoming potholed and unsafe, hardly good for cyclists, but that's the religion.

She wants local authority public transport, cycling and walking projects to be fully funded from road users' taxes - so absolutely no accountability to ratepayers for spending money collected by central government. Why? Because state highways are fully funded from road users - that seems unfair according to the Green religion - so local government can propose public transport projects (it doesn't propose state highways, that's a central government responsibility) and spend it. Public transport good according to the religion.

She wants all off peak public transport to be a dollar per user - more of your money paying to subsidise people wanting to move about by bus and train.

She wants to increase the rate of collisions between cars and buses by saying "On roads with a speed limit of 70 kph or less, drivers will have to give way to buses pulling out of a bus stop", so when you next approach a bus on a major urban arterial you might get killed.

She wants to make motorists responsible for collisions with pedestrians and cyclists "We will create a legal presumption that, so long as a cyclist or pedestrian is observing all road rules and common courtesy, in a collision with a vehicle the motorist will be held responsible". Just wait to see how that will bite, especially since pedestrians can cross roads almost anywhere.

Finally, she wants to push up the price of new cars by imposing mandatory fuel efficiency standards, which at its worst could limit the number of expensive high performance cars entering the country. So the vehicle fleet will remain a bit older, a bit less safe and a bit less fuel efficient because restricting imports keeps the price up.

Like I have written before, Green transport policy is completely devoid of evidence, it is a childlike worshipping of some modes good, others bad. It ignores objective evidence that a bus is more polluting than a car if it isn't carrying at least eight people, and a train isn't more efficient than a bus unless it is carrying at least three bus loads. It ignores evidence that trucks sometimes have a lower environmental impact than trains. It even prefers that NZ ships operate subsidised services instead of allowing foreign ships to carry domestic cargo when they are operating along the coast anyway. In total, the Green transport policy is NOT environmentally friendly, it is just a religion.


Tony said...

The EU wanted to pass something similar, making pedestrians and cyclists assumed to be innocent in any accident.

This was intended to harmonise insurance laws with Germany and Scandanavia. No doubt where the Greens got this piece of rocket science.

Aside from the perversion of justice, I can see many problems with increased fraud and "ambulance" chasing. Admittedly less of a problem in NZ with the ACC legislation but still not a brilliant idea.

Telegraph link here:

Mr Dennis said...

Excellent analysis LibertyScott. They seem to think roads are bad, completely ignoring that buses, cyclists, electric cars etc all run on roads, and the better the road the less fuel you use. Rather short-sighted.