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Labour Spin On Auckland Transport Is Nonsense

Friday 8 Feb 2002

Labour has been jolted awake by Bill English's endorsement of ACT's strategy to fix the Auckland transport nightmare, ACT Transport Spokesman MP Penny Webster said today.

"We haven't heard a word from Judith Tizard since she endorsed Christine Fletcher's mayoralty bid. Now she's attempting to defend her feeble efforts on Auckland roading.

"What Auckland needs is leadership. Ms Tizard has proven completely incapable. The Government appointment of an `Auckland Transport Advocate' is a mere exercise in public relations. Grant Kirby is highly capable but he has been knee-capped. Answers to my parliamentary questions show that Mr Kirby has no budget, no staff, no responsibilities and a vague role to `work collaboratively' with dozens of politicians and bureaucrats standing between Auckland and a decent motorway network.

"Ms Tizard isn't being honest when she says that 7.6 percent more Aucklanders are using public transport systems. The ARC annual survey shows patronage has merely remained steady on ferries and is down a whopping 35 percent on trains. Only buses have attracted 7.6 percent more customers over twelve months, and perhaps Ms Tizard needs to know that buses get snarled up in the traffic caused by the incompletion of the motorway system. Plans to get people on buses will only work if we fix the motorways.

"Ms Tizard has done absolutely nothing to cut back on congestion or get rid of the mess facing Aucklanders every day. Claiming credit for fictional improvements just won't wash with Aucklanders," Mrs Webster said.


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