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Strong Support For Improved Public Transport

Strong Support For Improved Public Transport

"The RMTU today welcomed the results of consultation on the Johnsonville line" "Submitters who could see all the options overwhelmingly supported rail," said Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the RMTU. The majority of those submitters also strongly opposed replacing rail with buses."

"The level and nature of responses shows clearly the strong community support for improved public transport - both trains and buses."

Key advantages of rail cited in submissions included benefits for the environment, better accessibility for the elderly and disabled, reduced congestion on roads, and greater comfort for users. Submitters opposed closure of stations, and sought improved frequency and reliability of services.

"It will take very little effort to give the quality of service that they are seeking," said Mr Butson. "All we need are new trains, some basic track improvements, and maximising the frequency of trains using existing infrastructure. The sort of expensive changes floated in the discussion document isn't needed and isn't wanted."

Many submissions recognised the need for better connections between public transport services, and extension of the rail system through the CBD by converting the system to light rail.

"Greater Wellington has now been given a clear message by Wellingtonians, and must focus on designing a staged programme to create a modern rail system for North Wellington and the CBD, plus improved bus services in the surrounding catchment."

The RMTU is concerned that the pro forma submissions generated by the Bus and Coach Association had confused the analysis of submissions.

"Those submissions show a strong desire for better public transport and better bus services, but cannot be used to support a decision to replace a bi-directional electrical train system with diesel buses running in only one direction. There is no evidence that those signing the form understood the range of options available, or the implications of a busway. The other submissions show that those who had seen all the information overwhelmingly supported improved rail, even where they themselves were not living near the line."

For further information please contact: Wayne Butson 0274 962 461 <>


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