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Option3 Hopes Hearing Committee offers more choice

MEDIA RELEASE

Option3 Hopes Hearing Committee offers more choice to Wellington


8 March 2006

The results of hearings into transport plans for the Western Corridor are due for release this afternoon. Option3 hopes the commmittee focussed on more choice rather than just more roads!

Option3 spokesperson, Karl Baker said "we hope there the Hearing Committee have realised the considerable advantages of an Option3-type approach and are not rehashing the tired argument of Transmission Gully vs the Coastal Highway". He said that the Committee will have heard the depth of public concern over this issue and seen that the Wellington region needs more transport choices than the draft corridor plan offered.

“Option3 hopes the Committee has recommended a serious commitment to public transport. The draft document allocated a measly 6% of funds allocated to better public transport. Wellington deserves better than this”

Option3 on the Western Corridor would mean a 50/50 split between funds spent on roads and other transport alternatives Including upgraded rail, smart planning and telecommunications improvements. TranzMetro, for example, presented figures to the hearing committee showing how it could carry the bulk of commuters for less than half the cost of the coast road.

Option3 is pushing for a balanced transportation network in line with overseas best practice and current trends of rising oil prices. "We hope the Committee has taken a hard look at the future and secured the economic interests of the region by providing for real transport choices" said Baker. “The end of cheap oil and climate change are major challenges.”

"It is no longer even news that petrol is $1.50 a litre and rising. Option3 hopes the Committee has recommended spending money on providing real choices for both drivers and other transport users".

Option3 looks forward to ongoing discussions that move from "what road" to "what transport solutions work?"

ENDS

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