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City transport Plan lacks courage

Media release
8th September 2008

City transport Plan lacks courage


“The just released final draft transport Plan for Wellington City lacks courage and is riddled with inconsistencies,” says Wellington City Councillor and Greens’spokesperson Iona Pannett.

The final draft Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan has been released ahead of deliberations this week by Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council. The Plan can be found on the City Council’s website (link below). Feedback will then be forwarded on to the Regional Land Transport Committee for a final decision on 28 October.

“In spite of a commitment to carbon neutrality, big destructive roading projects are envisaged at a cost overall of over $450m whereas there is around $167m potentially allocated for public transport, walking and cycling projects, said Cr Pannett.

“The Plan continues to take the discredited ‘predict and provide’ approach to road building and rejects the idea of providing equal amounts of funding to roading and public transport,” said Cr Pannett.

“The statement is that there is “no compelling case for long term measures”, is worrying and the document continues with the argument that the future is unknowable. There is now overwhelming evidence that climate change is here and an acceptance we need to deal with it; yet the plan includes initiatives and arguments that will increase rather than decrease emissions like planning for increased car use and building large tunnels,”said Cr Pannett.

“The Plan in spite of consistent criticism commits to a flyover around the Basin, a tunnel through Mt Victoria and under The Terrace (now at a cost of $350m, up from $250m) and four laning of Wellington Road and Ruahine Street,” said Cr Pannett.

Huge numbers of people have submitted at various stages of the Plan’s development against the large scale roading projects yet this fact has been ignored. A survey which shows some support for the projects has been given greater weight. This is very problematic given that research respondents do not have access to all relevant information about the projects like the costs and environmental effects. People making submissions have greater information on these issues,” said Cr Pannett.

There are some great measures however with a commitment to bus lanes, the creation of a public transport spine, a feasibility study for light rail or a similar system and a continued commitment to walking and cycling. There is also some support for a carbon charge although Wellington City has not made a commitment to it,” said Cr Pannett.

ENDS

http://www.wellington.govt.nz/haveyoursay/meetings/committee/Strategy_and_Policy/2008/11Sep0915/agendahtml

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