ON AIR: Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

4PM - 7PM

Andrew Dickens: Our road network needs a master plan

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Thursday, 11 July 2019, 10:16AM
Calls for a national master plan are desperately needed, writes Andrew. (Photo / Getty)

I'm going on holiday next week and no, I'm not going to tell you where because why do I have to?

I believe Simon Bridges is on holiday this week too since Paula Bennett is handling all the issues but I don't hear anyone demanding to know where he is either. Frankly when John Key used to pop off to Hawaii and it was reported in the media, people used to phone me and say it's not news. That's because it's not news.

Those people using the non-story to claim this government is not open, honest and transparent are desperate and suffer Jacinda Derangement Syndrome. Get some advice and get a life.

Anyway back to me. I'm hanging out for this holiday. I haven't had one since Christmas and I'm looking forward to reading and eating and sleeping and then repeat.

I'll also look back at the past 18 months and consider some of the stuff I've said on air. One of the most common complaints I've had is that this country does not have a long term plan. A new government comes in and all the plans that the old government had are thrown out and we start again re-inventing the wheel. The most obvious area where this becomes sticky is in infrastructure.

And we heard it all again last night after Phil Twyford’s appearance on the Drive show explaining why he is not continuing with National’s Roads of Significance

Investment and planning over roads, airports, rail lines, ports and pipelines should not be a political football. Because there is no bipartisan, pan political plan, petty politicians play politics with the stuff that keeps the country working.

And we all know it.

Now the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council has come out and asked for a long term plan that uses responsible and sustainable use of expertise and capital on projects for the future. The letter says transport is not binary. It's not a competition between road or rail or sea but a scaled up solution using everything we have. It doesn't put the blame at this government but at all governments. That said it does say National's 12 roads of significance needs to be reinstated 

National's plan was flawed as it focused on just 12 roads and some were political payback. Labour's plan is flawed because they're trying to resurrect rail. Rail is flawed because National stripped it down for the trucking lobby.  Trucking is flawed because our roads were quickly broken by the trucks.  Now the truckies are complaining about that.  And then another government comes in and everything is flipped on it’s head again.

Meanwhile, you and me are still sitting in in traffic jams on crappy roads asking how did this go wrong.

The systematic improvement of our major State Highways should have been written in stone 50 years ago, along with our rail systems, our airfields, our coastal ports, our electricity generation and our water reticulation and everything else we need to live and work. We need a plan we all agree on,

The business leaders recommend forming a New Zealand Prospectus to inform a national master plan. Best thing I’ve heard in ages

ON AIR: Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

4PM - 7PM