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Motorways alone won't save Auckland

7 December 2001

Motorways alone won't save Auckland

Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today warned Aucklanders that no city in the world had solved transport and congestion problems solely through building more motorways.

With the Government's long-awaited land transport strategy tipped to be introduced before Christmas, Ms Fitzsimons said any strategy must be well balanced between roads, a commitment to public transport and measures to reduce traffic growth.

"If this Government continues to just build more motorways it will leave a legacy of even more gridlock. The system whereby one person takes one tonne of steel with them every time they move is unsustainable and will, if allowed, slowly strangle Auckland," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"Current roading plans for Auckland amount to a head in the sand denial of overseas experience. More roads make congestion worse, not better, in the long run. Auckland needs to tackle car dependence now if it is to have a future.

"The Government's plan must depart from the past and make public transport as important as roading if Auckland is ever to develop into a modern, people-friendly city with breathable air."

Ms Fitzsimons said any Government strategy must focus around fully utilising the existing rail corridors and integrating fast, efficient light rail with a bus system with common ticketing and easy transfers.

"We also need to tackle the one third of car trips that are less than two kilometres and which could be easily replaced by walking and cycling. Internet co-ordinated ride sharing also offers a lot of opportunities," she said.

"For the last forty years Auckland has known that public transport was crucial to the city's development, yet it has always been ignored in favour of more and more roads.

"This Government must break from the past with this new plan and find a proper balance between public transport and roading if Auckland is to avoid strangling economic activity and quality of life."

ENDS




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