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Greens Urge Gosche Intervenes On Wgtn Motorway

Greens Urge Gosche To Intervene On Wellington Motorway

Green Party transport spokesperson Sue Kedgley today said there were a number of measures Transport Minister Mark Goshe should take to stop the building of the Wellington Inner City motorway.

Ms Kedgley was commenting on an article in City Voice which quotes the minister as saying he felt he did not have the power to intervene to stop the building of the motorway which would cut the Te Aro flat in half.

A key election platform for the Green Party was a five year moratorium on all new urban roading developments.

"The minister is entitled to give directions to Transit and Transfund about their overall funding priorities," Ms Kedgley pointed out. "He could direct both organisations to give preference to long-overdue public transport projects which have been starved of capital for decades before considering any major new roading proposals," said Ms Kedgley.

"When there is shortage of funding in the transport area, the minister should ask the various funding authorities why they are proposing to waste money on an unnecessary and highly controversial project that will destroy a vibrant inner city area and numerous heritage buildings," she said.

Ms Kedgley said the minister could also set criteria for the allocation of funding priorities which would preclude projects that significantly disrupt communites or cause significant environmental destruction, she said.

"He could also require Transit New Zealand to take into account, in setting its benefit cost ratios, the fact that building motorways signficantly increases induced traffic," she said. "At present, Transit's evaluation procedures deny the fact that projects such as the Inner City by-pass create new traffic.

"Leadership from Mark Gosche is essential if we are to stop building low priority roading projects such as the by-pass," she said. "If the minister turns a blind eye to the by-pass and passively allows it to proceed, it sends the signal that the Government is not prepared to act on a range of vital environmental and social issues. For example, bulldozing inner-city neighbourhoods to make it easier to drive to the outer suburbs is a major generator of urban sprawl."

Ms Kedgley said she was pleased to see the minister is willing to consider an independent audit of Transit's figures on the by-pass. "Transit is a road builder and road transport promoter, and cannot be an an independent evaluator of the project," Ms Kedgley said.

"For this reason an independent review of the project is urgently needed," she said.

Sue Kedgley MP: 04 470 6717, 025 270 9088

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