Duncan Garner: Government's rail plan needs to move into the fast lane

OPINION: I see yet another new quality-of-life survey is out and Auckland ranks poorly - 94th out of 150 cities.

It's fair to say we sit well outside the medals when it comes to transport.

Our transport options stink and we are actually getting slower at peak times - 10km/h slower in three years.

It shows we are grinding to a halt on the way to the daily grind.

After 16 interview requests and 16 refusals, I finally got to speak to Transport Minister Phil Twyford.

You know what they say - 17th time lucky.

So why do I want to speak to him?

Because the traffic you are sitting in sucks, and I'm sorry to say even the politicians in charge of making it better are barely able to offer much hope, despite all the bluster and petrol taxes being sucked from all your wallets.

Firstly, I'll say, welcome to the big city - it's a problem worldwide. If you don't like it, get out. 

Hamilton is warm right now, fancy a change? 

The truth is New Zealand needs one big city, but it needs it to perform well.

But we've been let down by a bunch of twits over decades who turned up to council to basically eat their lunch. 

Of course, big city congestion is a reality. 

But what these politicians like Twyford must do is offer us a choice.

We must have an alternative to roads - so light rail, heavy rail, get the hell on with it.

For too long, Aucklanders have been stuck in their cars because they had no alternative.

Yet despite the billions Twyford is spending, congestion levels will only ease to 2016 levels. 

Phil, Aucklanders are desperate for progress. 

If we're going to pay more let's see the progress and let's get on with this train to the airport - it's an international embarrassment that we don't have a CBD-to-airport train link.

But all this seems bogged down in process and high viz jackets and road cones.

It's all too slow Phil, can we put your plans in the fast lane? 

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.