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Rail Proposal Stupid

Rail Proposal Stupid

Thursday 29th Mar 2001 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Other

The proposal by the Government to negotiate with Tranz Rail a $100 million deal to buy back the lease of the Auckland rail network is a ridiculous waste of money, said Hon Richard Prebble, ACT Leader and former Railways Minister.

“At the current share price the Government could buy the whole of Tranz Rail for about $480 million - less than five times what it plans to spend on this deal.

“Tranz Rail already provides a passenger rail service – so the Government is proposing to pay the company for what it is already doing.

“It would be cheaper to give every Tranz Rail passenger a motor car, and pay for a chauffeur.

“Some elementary arithmetic shows that the proposal will do nothing to reduce Auckland’s traffic congestion.

“American urban transport experts – Demographer & Transport Analyst Wendell Cox, and Environmental Economist Randal O'Toole, recently described the Auckland Regional Council’s projections for anticipated rail passenger numbers as fantasy. They pointed out that a single motorway lane would carry five times more people – at a lot lower cost per person,” Hon Richard Prebble said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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