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Government tackling vehicle exhaust emissions

10 September 2000 Media Statement

Government tackling vehicle exhaust emissions

"This Government is working on a range of fronts to tackle the problems caused by vehicle exhaust emissions," Transport Minister Mark Gosche said today.

Last week he released a report, on a case study carried out in Christchurch, which will help local traffic managers tackle vehicle exhaust emissions.

Research has shown that emission of carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen in some areas of Christchurch and Auckland are above national air quality guidelines, or close to it.

The recent public response to the Auckland Regional Council’s Clean Air Auckland campaign clearly showed that there was a high level of community concern about vehicle emissions in New Zealand, Mr Gosche said.

“The real problem is on busy urban streets, particularly where traffic gets backed up. This makes local initiatives to manage pollution hotspots an important part of controlling air quality.”

“Technical modelling tools and processes, are widely used, by urban roading authorities in particular, to assess emission levels in problem areas. However, more must be done.”

“The release of this study, entitled The Environmental Capacity Analysis: Case Study Application to Christchurch, will assist local traffic managers identify ways to control local emissions problems. It is one of the outcomes of an extensive research project aimed at tackling emissions.”

This initiative is part of the Government’s commitment to improving the environment. Other projects under way include putting in place emissions standards for all vehicles arriving in New Zealand, improving public transport and investigating ways of reducing the number of smoky vehicles on the roads.

The report:

 Demonstrates how problem areas can be identified and emission levels quantified.
 Shows how the effectiveness of different emission reduction strategies, such as increased use of public transport or roading modifications, can be measured.

“These analytical tools are aimed at helping roading authorities improve traffic conditions in ways that meet local needs. The measures complement recent nation wide initiatives like increased funding for public transport and will help reduce problems associated with growing traffic congestion.” said Mr Gosche.

The Ministry of Transport will be sending a copy of the report directly to key stakeholders. Copies of the report are also available from the Ministry free of charge. In addition the report findings is to be presented at public meetings in the three main centres.

In June public transport received a significant boost today changes to funding systems were announced that could nearly double the amount available for public transport over the next three years.

As a result of the announcement current spending of $46 million on public transport could be boosted by $27 million per annum within three years. If capital expenditure from projects already under investigation was also included total extra funding could exceed $47 million, said Mr Gosche.

ENDS

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