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Greens committed to stopping inner city bypass

28 June 2002

Green Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said only the Greens had a strong position opposing the proposed inner city bypass and the party was determined to make sure the proposed project was evaluated against a new set of criteria negotiated between the Greens and the Government.

Under the new transport package negotiated between the Greens and the Government all currently planned roading projects have to be reviewed within one year against new strategic objectives such as environmental and social sustainability and preference is to be given to projects with high levels of community support.

"The bypass is unlikely to meet these standards and we intend to make sure that these new criteria are strictly enforced," said Ms Kedgley.

"Despite most inner city Wellingtonians opposing the bypass, local MP Marian Hobbs and the Labour Party have made no commitment to stop the bypass. Only a strong Green presence in the next Government will ensure that the agreed criteria for new roading projects will be followed to the letter.

"Right now the bypass has still not been evaluated against the priority criteria agreed by the Greens and the Government in February and Transit has not even made a funding application for the project."

Ms Kedgley said comments from Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast that new regional funding allocations from Transit were a green light for the bypass were wrong.

"The lists issued by Transfund last night change nothing in relation to the bypass," she said. "Transit still has to apply for funding and the project must be evaluated against the new criteria. Before it can do that it has to face a challenge in the Environment Court later this year over authorisation from the Historic Places Trust.

"Wellingtonians can rightly feel very disappointed with the lack of action from their local MP and the Government on this issue.

"Let me be very clear, if the Greens are in a position after the election, we will make sure the bypass is scrapped for good and the money spent on restoring Te Aro and improving public transport, cycling and pedestrian facilities," said Ms Kedgley.

"If Wellington voters want to stop the bypass and preserve one of the most vibrant and diverse areas of the city then they need to vote Green with their party vote to strengthen Labour's spine on these issues."

Ends


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