- By Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga
Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have once again shown their true colours when it comes to their view of people who use cars to get around Auckland, drive to work, drop their kids at school or go to the shops.
Auckland Council’s new parking strategy is an anti-car strategy, designed to make your life more difficult if you choose to use a car to get around Auckland.
The strategy proposed that parking your car on the side of the road should now be considered the lowest priority use of road space by Auckland Transport and proposes to remove thousands of car parking spaces across Auckland.
This is bad policy which will have a significant impact on our communities and particularly a significant impact on small businesses who rely on customers being able to park outside their stores.
As if small businesses hadn’t had a tough enough time over the last couple of years, they are now set to lose a key aspect of their business that provides quick and easy access for local consumers.
And for what? Bus lanes and cycle ways? AT would take away a key lifeline for these businesses to improve the lives of people who catch a bus by a marginal amount. The so-called benefits simply do not stack up.
Not only is the policy bad, but the way that it is being sold to Aucklanders is incredibly arrogant. Auckland Transport’s head of integrated network planning Andrew McGill told the NZ Herald, “We do have a predetermined agenda.”
This arrogance from an unelected bureaucrat makes Aucklanders’ blood boil and makes a mockery of the ‘consultation’ process that Auckland Transport is now undertaking with this policy.
Aucklanders are sick and tired of being told that they should feel guilty to get in their cars.
Yes, we need better public transport choices but for most people that is still not a practical choice people can currently make due to the complexity of their lives.
Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board, genuinely listen to Aucklanders and promote polices which provide better transport choices for everyone.