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More money half right for roads

Friday, June 24th, 2005

More money half right for roads

The extra $500 million promised for transport is only part of the right answer needed to fix our transport crisis, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"There's money to burn for transport already committed to transport projects, but still they don't get started," said EMA's chief executive Alasdair Thompson.

"The Mt Roskill extension on the critical Western Ring Route, and the link to SH 20 at Manukau have been ready to build for at least three years, and with the money available to build them, but still they were not started.

"Other projects, including important public transport developments such as the North Shore busway, were held up for years by the clumsy bureaucratic requirements required first by the Resource Management Act then the Land Transport Management Act.

"The duplications in the RMA and LTMA are delaying transport projects thereby harming the environment rather than protecting it.

"If Government is to take Kyoto seriously and improve environmental outcomes, for example by reducing vehicle emissions, it would ensure the RMA and LTMA worked to improve traffic and commuter flows, thereby easing congestion and reducing fuel use.

"This would also greatly help restore lifestyle and work life balance.

"Long suffering motorists and commercial transport operators agreed with government on the raising of petrol taxes, and to the $1.62 billion package in 2003.

"The immediate funding is available already to accelerate the building of roads and other transport projects, with much more available by borrowing at unbelievably high rates of return.

"Nevertheless the extra money is welcome as planned new road and public transport projects will require $16 billion."

ENDS

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