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Don't wait for Govt. over rail - Greens

22 November 2001

Don't wait for Govt. over rail - Greens

Green Party Transport spokesperson Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Mayors were adding their voice to the growing pressure on the Government to buy back the region's rail corridor - as they have already done in Auckland.

However Ms Kedgley said she was concerned at the Mayors' suggestion that the Regional Council delay its proposed purchase of the region's passenger trains until the Government had made a decision as to whether to buy back the region's rail corridor's or not.

"Every month the region's passenger trains and basic rail infrastructure are becoming more and more run down," said Ms Kedgley.

"Some of the train carriages on key commuter lines are more than fifty years old, and are having to be put out of service because of safety concerns. Soon we won't even have enough carriages to continue to run some of our commuter services such as the Johnsonville line."

Ms Kedgley said if the Regional Council accepted the advice of the Wellington mayors and delayed its purchase of the region's passenger trains, parts of the region's commuter network - such as the Johnsonville line - could become so dilapidated as to be almost unusable.

"The Government has given no indication yet that it even intends to buy back the rail corridor, despite huge pressure from the public, the Greens and the rail union to do so. Waiting for the Government to make a decision on purchasing the rail corridor could be like waiting for Godot," she said.

Ms Kedgley said rather than waiting for something that may not even happen, the Regional Council would be better off moving ahead with its proposed purchase of the region's passenger trains, while at the same time pushing the Government to buy back the rail corridor as they have done in Auckland.

ENDS

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