Regional Council (ECan) candidacy announced

Transport planner Axel Wilke today announces his candidacy for ECan. He will contest the Christchurch Central-Ōhoko constituency as an independent.

Issues he will be campaigning on:

  • protecting our water
  • world class public transport
  • restoring Canterbury’s environment

Axel has lived and worked in Christchurch for over 20 years after completing his degree at Canterbury University.  His primary area of expertise is in transport and he is passionate about making our public transport something all residents will want to use. For many years, ECan has not had a councillor with transport knowledge and this is evident in the current state of our public transport system, and the fact that so few residents are using it.  Bus use has been declining since 2014 and Axel believes this is “scandalous, in a world facing a climate and ecological crisis”.

Axel suggests that the Northern Arterial is the perfect opportunity to give bus use a kick-start: “The roads south of Innes Road won’t cope with all the extra cars delivered by this four-lane motorway, and neither will the local community. I’ve proposed an innovative solution to this, and today the city council has announced that it wants to adopt many of my recommendations, so it’s going in the right direction. But it’s not anywhere near good enough yet.”

“What I envisage is to replicate the success of the Northern Busway on Auckland’s North Shore,” Axel explains. “That project took 500 cars off the motorway during the peak hour when it opened a decade ago. The Northern Arterial express bus service has got to be good enough to achieve massive behaviour change. That way, the city can keep growing without us clogging up our roads or adding to the climate emergency with ever-increasing CO2 emissions. We need to respond in a meaningful way to ensure a positive future for our children and grandchildren.”

Axel has spent his career working to improve our transport options.  He worked for Christchurch City Council for many years before opening his own successful consultancy and believes in including the community in a meaningful way when faced with decisions.  Since February this year he has been running public workshops on alternative transport options for Christchurch, allowing residents to be involved in exploring how we can bring passenger rail to our city.