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Auckland's public transport investment crucial

19 April 2000

Auckland's public transport investment crucial - Greens

Green Party transport spokesperson Sue Kedgley today congratulated Infrastructure Auckland on its far-sighted plans to spend over $500 million on public transport over the next five years.

Ms Kedgley said this was the first substantial investment in public transport in around four decades.

"Finally Auckland is catching on to what other cities around the world have long known - neither cities or our environment can sustain the growth in the private motor car," she said.

"The Green Party is delighted to see a substantial cash injection set aside for public transport in Auckland. From being a city that had a pitiful public transport system and infrastructure, Auckland is now setting an example in encouraging environmentally sustainable public transport."

Ms Kedgley said the money allocated for the project could be used for a world-class and cost effective integrated public transport system with light rail, more bus lanes and ferry access.

"The Green Party congratulate Infrastructure Auckland on this commonsense and timely proposal," Ms Kedgley said. "It is an example to the rest of the country that building more motorways only encourages more cars which, in turn, congest our cities.

"I urge Wellington City Council to sit up and take notice of this plan instead of preparing to cut through a residential zone with another motorway extension," she said. "Public transport is the future of sustainable cities and it's about time the Wellington City Council and Transit New Zealand realised this."

The Green Party have a core policy of a five year moratorium on new urban roading projects such as motorways.

Ms Kedgley said the Greens have been having constructive talks with Transport Minister Mark Gosche over the proposed Wellington Inner City 'Bypass' and she promised the Greens would lobby as hard as possible to have the project stopped.

"The Wellington 'bypass' has been on the table for more than 30 years and it has been stopped each time by people who know the plan is bad for the city. We have all seen that the problems in Auckland have not been solved by building more roads, rather they have got progressively worse," she said.

"Today's announcement by Infrastructure Auckland is the long awaited recognition of the failure of road building and the need for public transport."

Sue Kedgley MP: 025 270 9088 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133

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