Vale Paul Mees, a courageous champion of the truth who dared to challenge the ‘liars and cheats who should be in jail’, as he famously described the incompetent and dishonest cabal who have ruined our transport system. Paul was a visionary who believed in reason and made iron-tight cases that, in an age of spin, his opponents could only ignore.
That they have done so has made Melbourne a far worse city. If Paul’s arguments had been followed, the billions that we have wasted on privatisation and grandiose road projects would have been invested to the city’s long term benefit. At least three new major rail lines would be up and running; all with buses connecting to the train services. These same principles guide transport planning in cities with successful transit systems, hence Paul’s expertise was highly valued outside of Melbourne.
Melbourne is poorly placed to meet the challenges of peak oil and climate change and continues to place its faith in self-defeating mega-road projects. At a time when our political and business leaders still do not see the urgency of change, this city cannot afford to lose its greatest advocate for practical and economic approaches to transport.
John Cox, Yangon, Myanmar