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Stop The Bickering Kedgley Implores Mayors

24 May 2002

Green Transport spokesperson Sue Kedgley today called on Wellington Councils and Mayors to stop bickering amongst themselves about the future of the Wellington passenger rail network.

"Instead they must unite together, as the Auckland Councils and Mayors have done, to upgrade and refurbish Wellington's dilapidated passenger rail network," she said.

"If the Mayors continue to squabble with the Wellington Regional Council, and undermine its proposal to form a joint venture with a private sector rail operator to run the urban rail network, Wellington will end up with a passenger rail network that is so run down and dilapidated it is a serious safety risk."

Ms Kedgley said she believed the Wellington Regional Council's Joint Venture proposal was sound, and would result in a long-term commitment to upgrade and refurbish the region's rail carriages and other basic infrastructure.

"We have an incredibly valuable rail passenger in the Wellington region, but it needs significant investment in upgrading the carriages and improving the efficiency and frequency of the service to attract more passengers.

"A partnership between the Regional Council and an experienced private operator can ensure this happens and that a private operator does not continue to run down the passenger rail network as Tranz Rail has."

Ms Kedgley said she was delighted that Mayors were giving their support to the Green Party proposal that the Government buy back the rail network.

Ends

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