AA’s Dinosaur Age Thinking


I am so glad I cancelled my AA membership.

Automobile Association’s submission on the Auckland Plan does not speak for me- except for the qualified AA support for opening up Queen St to pedestrians as happened during the RWC.

QUEEN ST: Pedestrians take over during the Rugby World Cup opening night in Auckland

But that aside,check out the outdated thinking behind this statement in AA’s submission:

“AA would support the introduction of tolls on new roading infrastructure to fund it, we strongly object to any plan to introduce tolls on existing motorways and roads, which motorists have already paid for through fuel excise and road user charges. The AA has also urged the Council not to mislead any regional funding debate by including national projects, for which central government is responsible.”

It’s of course all about cars with no understanding of the Britomart congestion issue. As with the Government, buses are OK if there has to be public transport as they still use previous roads.
“The AA believes the Council’s public transport priority should be upgrading the existing bus and rail networks, infrastructure and services across the region. Only once this is done should the Council consider expanding them”

“The AA believes the Council should be focusing on expanding the bus network ahead of rail. It is much more affordable to expand the bus network than it is the rail network, and a focus on buses would provide a far greater number of Auckland motorists with a realistic alternative to using their cars”

“While there is strong support for improving trains, the reality is that proportionate to the number of people using buses, only a very small number of motorists, in very limited geographic areas, would benefit from expanding the train network, which is a very expensive alternative to the bus.”

Auckland Mayor Len Brown gave priority to an Auckland CBD Rail Link. No wonder that set AA off.
“”The AA has acknowledged the Council’s balanced list of public transport and roading projects. However, given the lack of available funding, we have expressed concern about the Council’s failure to prioritise regional projects in a transparent manner which focuses on the principles of benefit-cost efficiency, geographic distribution and customer preference.”

We should copy Brisbane's Queen St pedestrian mall

The only good part of the submission is support for a Queen St pedestrian mall but even then that’s heavily qualified to make sure motorists are still not disadvantaged.

“The AA’s support for a ‘pedestrian first’ CBD is, however, conditional on the Council providing sufficient short-term and long-term parking for motorists on the edge of the CBD. This will cater for all those Aucklanders who, despite future improvements, are still unable to use public transport to get to the CBD, and those who prefer to use their car instead.”

For goodness sake. The submission is encouraged by some AA survey of members.
I can’t wait until oil runs out or gets overpriced and AA members have to get out of the SUVs and start walking or catching that public transport poor tragic people catch.




  1. Matt says:

    Parking, parking, parking. Roads, roads, roads.

    Not exactly an enlightened organisation.

    “those who prefer to use their car instead.” - interesting phrase that one. No mention of the externalities and costs that others must pay for them to exercise their “choice”.

    “Customer preference” - oh please, what a euphemism. I think they mean “unbridled, uninhibited motoring”.

  2. Ben says:

    Well to be expected for an Auto-mobile Association.

    However this peak oil business I would be careful with.

    I am reading articles on shale-gas and synthetic fuel from coal would first supplement then replace oil before electrics and/or fuel cells became mainstream.

    Forgive my reluctance at the moment however we as a city can be more people friendly though :)

  3. Jon R says:

    The AA really is a dinosaur ( expensive one at that) now.

    With other non-roading lobby competitors around now cancelling AA membership is a very good option indeed.

  4. Patrick R says:

    If the AA really cared about improving the quality its members driving experience, as opposed to simply growing its insurance business, there is no chance that they would be advocating for more buses. Idiots. What they really want is as near as 100% of all funding to go to road projects and then they will get back to lobbying against any of that public amenity being privileged to PT. So not really any actually effective bus infrastructure but certainly more roads.

    More roads made less effective by no alternative, and clogged by more ineffectual buses.


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