Talking transport in Te Upoko o te Ika: Monday 30 Jul
Our regular round up of the week’s goings on with getting around.
Today marks the 16th day since the new Wellington City Public Transport Network kicked in.
In news in the DomPost at the weekend it was reported that the greatest concern of the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) now is to reduce overcrowding on as few as “three or four routes”, which are being monitored.
The council’s sustainable transport committee chair, Barbara Donaldson, was quoted as saying “a huge amount of progress” has been made in the first two weeks, and that there is an expectation that the “pace of improvement” will continue.
As occasionally happens the print edition of this article was shorter than the online version – missing out an added apology from Donaldson for issues being experienced by bus users, supplemented with the comment: “It is far too early … to pass judgement about how successful the new system is.”
Another unknown is how an apparent impasse centred around employment conditions for drivers between Tramways Union and family driven operator Tranzurban Wellington (Tranzit) is going to play out.
On Thursday there was an update in the DomPost which reported local councillors have vowed to intervene in the dispute if necessary – with GWRC councillor Sue Kedgley making the comment that “Tranzit needs to tone down its anti-union rhetoric and recognise it has a statutory obligation under the Employment Relations Act to negotiate a collective agreement with unions.”
When more of the fusses over buses begin to subside, other transport news stories that have been taking a back seat may start to regain attention.
An issue that surfaced recently was revival of talk about a road toll for Transmission Gully. This was briefly in the headlines a few weeks ago and is a topic that Talk Wellington plans to revisit.
At the suburb level, the always readable Mt Cook Mobilised e-bulletin caught our eye recently with its update about the installation of a new ‘cantilever’ style bus stop at Bidwill / Wallace St. The installation has been delayed till the end of August due to the complexities of the site.
Over in the Wairarapa a high-risk section of State Highway 2 between Masterton and Carterton is under the spotlight, with a likely focus to be put on some problematic intersections.
NZTA’s SH2 Masterton to Carterton team will be at Masterton’s Solway Primary School on Wednesday, August 8 (2.30-4.30pm) and at Carterton Events Centre on Saturday, August 11 (10am-2pm) to talk about possible improvements and get community feedback. People who can’t make it can still share their views online or by mail until 31 August.
One of the feel-good stories of the last week would have to be the way that the South Korean government marked a special relationship with Ōtaki School, where an annual commemoration of the 1953 ceasefire on the Korean peninsula has been held for the past 26 years.
Curiously the DomPost didn’t give any more detail about the back story to the school’s involvement, but the main news was that the school has benefitted from a $10,000 gift that will be used to fund about 60 bicycles and allow the school to take part in the Bikes In Schools programme. The timing of the gift, made by South Korea ambassador Sueng-bae Yeo, coincided with the 65th anniverary of the ceasefire.
Cover photo CC by Palaver Media