Mayor Parker calls for trains

Posted on December 26, 2009 by


Just my luck… two days after I start this, with no intention of doing any work on it for a while, this pops up.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker wants a city-wide light rail network that could cost tens of millions of dollars.

Parker is calling for a return to the “steel and sparks” era and wants trains, not buses, to start dominating Christchurch’s public transport system within five years.

His idea is already gathering momentum with community and political leaders agreeing a debate is needed

“It is not right to say we cannot afford rail-based systems, it is more correct to say we cannot afford not to think about them if we wish our city to persist, survive and grow into our future … It cannot all happen tomorrow but we can start the planning for it now,” he said.

Sweet.  There have been a good deal of letters in the Press (starting off with various complaints about the current Addington station, and how good it would be restore Moorhouse*, and moving on to calls for a real network) over the past few weeks. Parker is also likely to be re-elected mayor in 2010, as there’s noone (yet?) who looks anything like a mayoral prospect.  However, there does seem to be a disconnect with what currently exists and what should be the most sensible option. Certainly from the article it doesn’t seem like they know exactly what the situation on the ground is. ECan head Alec Neill says “There is some ability to link into some rail corridors in the city”, and that strikes me as being rather ignorant of what rail corridors (and how many) actually exist, and that not linking into the existing rail network might even be an option.

I’ll post my vision on how it should be done soonish.

*which would have been possible and perhaps desirable some 20 years ago, but isn’t either now).