I did have a small post scheduled for tomorrow morning, but the release of both of these today sort of takes precedence! It never rains, but it pours! Seems kind of appropriate, considering the weather we have been having lately.

So: seeing as the Basin Reserve “mitigation” study / blatant bribe to the Reserve Trust has been released, and the Passenger Transport Spine study, and the material for the EPA from NZTA have all been released today (there is no coincidence here, it’s all been carefully planned out), and that’s just al too much for me to post on – I thought I’d just throw it open for you to comment on.

I’ll throw in my 2c worth to start the ball rolling – on the cost of the Spine Study options – and how they have gone up fivefold in under a year. It’s amazing what a report can do when someone is told to kill an option. I don’t for a minute believe that this was a coincidence – there’s nothing in the report that wasnt known a year ago, but Fran or Gerry has got to the “independent” report writers and nobbled them. It is the cost of the apparently previously unthought of dedicated tunnel for a light rail option that has pushed the cost sky high, despite the fact that arguably exactly the same cost would apply to a dedicated bus-way. Obviously the status quo option was always going to be cheapest. But isn’t it amazing how our cash-strapped forebears could build and install a tram system throughout Wellington without the need for a $940 million cost tag for something far, far smaller?

Erentz has noted on the Scoop site that he thinks this was always going to be a waste of time, but I think that it has been worthwhile. Even if the results are deeply suspicious – ok I’ll say it – blatantly pre-judged because of government bias, then at least we have done it, can read it, digest it, and then just get on with it. Wellington needs a good high speed, high quality public transport system, and needs I now, to grow. Let’s face it – we will never have Light Rail, despite it being a better system, and more popular amongst users, but let’s move on and get a Bus way working.

Over to you – your views welcome….