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Auckland’s transport crisis to get rev up

Media statement
Friday, June 3rd, 2005

Auckland’s transport crisis to get rev up

Transport is the number one issue for Auckland and the Employers & Manufacturers Association totally supports this view.

The EMA is developing an election campaign to tap into Auckland’s rising frustration with our transport systems, said the association’s Chief Executive, Alasdair Thompson.

“We are going to ask Aucklanders of all political persuasions to rev up our central and local government politicians to fix our transport crisis,” Mr Thompson said.

“We want Aucklanders to voice their alarm over the costs and time wasting that the lack of good transport is causing them.

“Aucklanders want the road network completed and our public transport systems greatly improved.

“Though government has increased petrol tax and launched a $1.62 billion package for transport with great fanfare, the rate of road building in Auckland has slowed down.

“Two years ago the Transport Minister said the Mt Roskill extension would be underway that year. Last year he promised the same. This year he’s promised the same.

“Similar delays have occurred to other key parts of the road network such as the Manukau highway connection for SH1 to SH20, and the second Manukau harbour bridge at Mangere.

“Road construction contractors have told government agencies such as Transit they can build $400 million of new roads a year but only half that level is being constructed.

“Contractors have offered to loan Transit funding to accelerate some road projects, but the offer was rejected.

“The ARC has listed its priorities for Public Transport developments but there is precious little evidence of any progress on the ground they are making headway.

“Central and local government politicians of all parties are about to come under intense scrutiny from Aucklanders in the election campaign on the failure to address Auckland’s traffic congestion.

“Investment is not going into Auckland’s transport infrastructure to anything like the extent required.

“It will ask Aucklanders to put their foot down and demand action.

“We are confident Auckland will identify closely with the campaign.

“We want to get out of neutral. The stop-start stop-start must stop. EMA is putting its weight behind the rev up government campaign. We want to get central and local government politicians to commit unequivocally to fix Auckland’s transport systems with urgency.”

ENDS

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