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Greens Lodge Road Traffic Reduction Bill

To mark International Car Free Day Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today lodged a bill in the members ballot which would reduce the amount of road traffic across the country.

Ms Fitzsimons' Land Transport (Road Traffic Amendment) Bill requires both national and regional governments to set binding targets for the reduction of motorised road traffic.

"International evidence overwhelmingly indicates that increased prosperity, social cohesion and environmental quality can all be achieved through a lower level of car dependence," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said currently the vast bulk of transport expenditure goes towards maintaining and expanding dependence on private motor vehicles.

"New Zealand urgently needs to shift towards a model of more efficient transport use," she said. "We need to increase public transport, encourage cycling and walking and make greater use of rail and coastal shipping for freight movement."

Ms Fitzsimons said communities were being divided and human interactions undermined by urban sprawl, traffic noise and the physical barriers of large and busy roads. She said these factors were imposing huge economic costs by diverting resources from the production of goods and services into their movement.

"Under my bill the Minister of Transport is required to develop targets, timetables and measures for traffic reduction on state highways. Regional Councils are required to develop similar targets for their regions and Transit and Transfund are then bound to support these targets," she said.

"The result from switching funding from major roading projects to public transport will be a cleaner environment and more healthy and functional communities."

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 04 470 6661, 025 586 068 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090


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