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Residents Support Investment In Public Transport

North Shore City residents support investment in public transport
November 13, 2003

North Shore City residents participating in the council's consultation process on its 10-year Transport Strategy have shown strong support for investing in public transport.

The results come in the wake of new debate over transport funding options for the Auckland region, and how the money should be spent.

More than 3000 residents returned the council's Better Transport questionnaire forms as part of the first stage of community consultation aimed at getting feedback on a direction for the council's transport strategy.

Presented with three different transport planning scenarios, 49 per cent of respondents chose one with a public transport focus, while 29 per cent favoured more of a pedestrian/cycle friendly bias while 22 per cent wanted a cars-first focus.

Just over 60 per cent strongly agreed or agreed with spending more on public transport than cars, with 25 per cent strongly disagreeing or disagreeing.

Sixty-three per cent agreed or strongly agreed that public transport should have priority over cars and 75 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that traffic congestion affects the environment.

As well as questionnaire forms, the council has also held meetings and displays around the city with business, youth and community groups. Residents could also respond on-line through the council's internet site.

Chairperson of the council's strategy and finance committee, Councillor Tony Holman, says the council is pleased with the quality of comments that have been received throughout the first stage of consultation.

"These results and the various comments and submissions will help us set a direction for our Strategic Transport Plan. We are already planning to invest a lot in public transport through our ferry wharf upgrades, Busway and Bus Rapid Transit projects so this feedback gives us confidence that we are on the right track.

"We recognise that our residents are well informed and have a great amount of knowledge relating to transport issues. Each questionnaire and submission have added value to achieving a transport network which is balanced and beneficial to all users," he says.

"It is very encouraging to see that so many support the public transport option. To become a reality there will need to be real commitment from the supporters to move out of their cars and onto buses and ferries as services expand and improve."

Councillor Holman says residents will have another opportunity to comment on the city's transport plan during a second stage of consultation early next year when a draft Transport Strategy will be released.

(ends)

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