This morning’s DominionPost had this story to that effect.
It’s no surprise that a lot of people think it hasn’t improved much; the standard wisdom is that motorways don’t solve traffic congestion: they simply move it from one area to another, usually from the start of one to the end of it. Any place where two lanes converge into one will see a bottleneck.
What is a surprise, however, is that 34% of respondents to the online poll think it is noticeably worse. It makes you wonder why they think this: has there been a sudden surge in motorists using the road rather than the railway? Unlikely. Is the problem at the Raumati end where there is a two lane to one lane merge at present, or at MacKays where that has been the case for some time? Maybe.
Another point of surprise was someone saying the train cost her $100 a month more than taking her car. We can only assume she gets a free carpark with her job. A very conservative estimate is that a car, overall, will cost you about 50 cents per km to run, so a 50 km run to Wellington will cost $25 each way (of that petrol will be about $6). The train is more expensive than that? We don’t think so.