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Christchurch signs NZ's first Transport Accord

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To: Chief reporter

From: Jan McCarthy - CCC Communication Team

MEDIA RELEASE 28
May 2008


Christchurch signs New Zealand's first Transport Accord

Easy access to a safe, reliable night-time public transport service is
the aim of the Christchurch Central Business District Transport Accord
launched today (Wednesday, 28 May).

The Accord, the first in New Zealand, is the result of more than four
years work by transport operators and agencies to ensure the city is
provided with a dependable public transport service to support a safe
and vibrant city, says Accord committee chair Dennis Robertson of Land
Transport New Zealand.

Christchurch's taxi operators and Red Bus Company have formed the
Transport Accord in partnership with the Christchurch City Council, Land
Transport New Zealand, New Zealand Police, Hospitality Association of
New Zealand, Environment Canterbury, New Zealand Automobile Association,
New Zealand Taxi Federation and ACC.

Mr Robertson says through the Transport Accord the industry is working
together to ensure its provides the public with a better and more
reliable service which helps support the work of the city's Alcohol
Accord and enhances the central city's night-time economy.

"The Transport Accord was the next logical step after the city
introduced the Alcohol Accord in October 2006. With the Transport
Accord, the public transport industry will also be working with the
hospitality industry and agencies to help create a safer city for
residents, visitors and tourists."

The key objectives of the Accord are to:
* Encourage people to use public transport.
* Improve the image of public transport.
* Improve central city traffic management.
* Encourage personal safety for everyone.
* Build better relationships between stakeholders and the public.
* Encourage people not to drive after drinking.

The Police's Canterbury Road Policing Manager Inspector Derek Erasmus
says the Transport Accord is another great initiative to help make
Christchurch a safer city.

"Through the Transport Accord we are looking to address the increasing
problem of drink-driving and alcohol-related harm.

'By ensuring there is a reliable, easy to access and cost effective
public transport service, people will be encouraged to leave their cars
at home and uses buses and taxis when enjoying a night out in town. This
is a real positive outcome for the city."

He praised the collaborative approach of the signatories in working
together for the benefit of the city which had already seen the
introduction of the After Midnight Express bus service and better public
access to a more reliable taxi service at night.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the Transport Accord is yet another
great example of how the city is working together to find solutions
which will help make Christchurch the safest city in New Zealand.

"By providing those in the central city with easy access to a reliable
public transport service, people are not left to wander the streets in
search of a way home at night, thereby placing themselves at risk of
being a victim of crime."

He says the Alcohol Accord has already helped make Christchurch safer
and the Transport Accord would only serve to build on the success of
this initiative.

"It is good to see such outstanding support from the transport industry
to help create a safer city. With their on-going commitment to work
together and introduce new initiatives as issues arise, the transport
industry has taken a lead and proven to be a responsible citizen in
recognising the problem of inner city crime and violence."

Mr Parker says a whole of community response was needed to reduce
central city crime and violence and he welcomed such initiatives as the
Transport Accord.


ends

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