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AA Welcomes Transport Announcement As First Step

AA Welcomes Transport Announcement As A "Good first step"

The Government's Auckland's transport package announced today is a good first step toward solving a problem that costs the country $1 billion a year Automobile Association Public Affairs Director George Fairbairn said today.

"It is heartening to see Government contributing $90 million a year from the money it takes from petrol tax and putting it back into transport. The fact that the Government has also acknowledged that funding for important road safety and economic growth projects in other parts of the country also require additional assistance is also welcome," he said.

But Mr Fairbairn warned that funding was not the only issue.

"The fact that the Government has delayed the implementation of the new fuel tax until April 2005 combined with Transfund's $225 million surplus this year certainly seems to indicate that there is a problem with the resource consent process for major infrastructural investments. This view was clearly expressed in the recent OECD survey of New Zealand and we would hope that there would be bi-partisan support in Parliament for measures to address this problem next year," he said.

The Automobile Association was also concerned that more emphasis be placed on road safety engineering, particularly as 2004 is the World Health Organisation's year of road safety.

"The 2003 road toll will certainly exceed the 2002 road toll despite record numbers of infringement notices being issued. The Government has to face the fact that it cannot hope to achieve the 2010 road safety strategy target of no more than 300 fatalities in only six years unless it puts considerably more investment into engineering safer and more forgiving roads" Mr Fairbairn said.

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