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Kapiti Coast Must Act On Oil Prices

Media release from Lyndy McIntyre, Paekakariki/Raumati councillor

7 January 2008

Kapiti Coast Must Act On Oil Prices

"Rising oil prices will hit Kapiti hard because we are a commuter community and over-reliant on cars," said Paekakariki/Raumati ward councillor Lyndy McIntyre today.

"Kapiti Coast residents, unable to afford to fill up the car, will need to seek alternatives, and KCDC has a huge role to play in making sure those alternatives are there."

International oil prices hit US$100 a barrel last week, and the rise is forecast to continue.

"The only sensible response to rising oil prices is to see the writing on the wall and change how we get from A to B," she said. "That means leaving the car in the garage and taking the train to town and bussing, cycling and walking to local destinations."

"We must work with central government and Greater Wellington Regional Council to ensure every Kapiti commuter has access to fast, efficient and affordable public transport and we have walking and cycling options across the district."

Lyndy McIntyre said KCDC should shift the focus from roading projects like the Western Link Road and look at what other communities are doing to move their people out of cars.

"A citizen of Barcelona can pick up a community-owned bike, cycle across the city and leave it in a community-owned bike stand. Closer to home a Rotorua citizen can flag down a bus and travel anywhere in the greater Rotorua area for $1.40. We have to use more imagination and afford much greater priority to providing alternatives to cars."

Lyndy McIntyre suggested eight priorities for public transport 2008:

1 Lobbying government to fund more new trains on order for 2010
2 Upgrading track and signalling on the Paraparaumu line completed with urgency
3 Find funding for double tracking and electrification to Otaki and full double-tracking between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay
4 Pressure GWRC to abandon the planned 2008 rail fare increase
5 Confirm Raumati station
6 Free commuter buses for rail passengers
7 Audit local bus routes to assess local needs
8 Introduce mini buses on local routes

ENDS


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