Transport Industry Set For A Shake Up
9 July 2002
New Zealand Transport Industry Set For A Shake Up From The Alliance
Alliance Leader Laila Harré released the Alliance’s transport policy today with a promise to fix New Zealand’s transport woes by shifting the emphasis off roads and onto public transport.
“There is a tendency in New Zealand to believe that building more roads is the way to deal with our growing transport problems. The Alliance is calling for a shift in that thinking towards much more investment in public transport.
“We want to reduce the pressure on our roads and at the same time reduce the effects pollution from cars and trucks is having on our environment “
Laila Harré said the Alliance believes that the way forward in urban areas is through publicly funded, fully integrated public transport systems, such as rapid bus systems.
“This will require a significant shift of funding from road construction to public transport infrastructure and a greater share of fuel tax will be channelled into transport systems.”
At the same time the Alliance recognises the need to maintain the New Zealand road system to a high standard to keep the principal transport network fit for the needs of both rural and urban communities and industry.
“We want to see an integrated public transport system put in place throughout the country to allow everyone access to every area. This can only be achieved through co-operation between the planning authorities and those involved in the industry,” said Laila Harré
The Alliance’s Transport policy focuses on improvements to all sections of the transport industry along with improving the safety standards in road construction, vehicle standards and driver education and training.
The policy reiterates the Alliance’s opposition to private funding initiatives, saying that transport funding is a key government responsibility and that the private sector’s profit imperative merely adds to transport costs.
Alliance Transport Policy 2002
There are good transport systems elsewhere in the world and increasingly there are demands for improvements in New Zealand.
There is rising concern over the increasing pollution levels generated by cars and trucks, the damage to the environment and our heritage, increased traffic noise levels and the disruption to peoples lives caused by the construction of new roads.
Current levels of expenditure on new road construction are not keeping pace with traffic growth nor resolving congestion problems in urban areas.
There has been serious neglect of the railway network over many years.
The fragmented approach to transport planning particularly in urban areas such as the Auckland region is putting additional strains on business and commuters.
There is a high level of road deaths in New Zealand in comparison with other developed countries.
The Alliance believes that the transport needs and environmental problems of urban and semi-urban areas will not be resolved by just constructing more roads.
The Alliance believes that the way forward in urban areas is through publicly funded, fully integrated public transport systems e.g. rapid bus systems. By giving real priority and appropriate funding to public means of transport journey times will be cut and traffic growth reduced. This process includes all modes of transport and requires transport planning authorities and industry to play their part.
The Alliance recognises that the New Zealand road system must be maintained to a high standard to keep the principal transport network fit for the needs of both rural and urban communities and industry.
The Alliance will require a significant shift of funding from road construction to public transport infrastructure and a greater share of fuel tax will be channeled into transport systems. The Alliance does not support private funding initiatives. Passing this off to the private sector is an abrogation of responsibilities and merely adds extra cost to an already expensive process for no tangible gain.
The Alliance will improve regional infrastructure (including the railways) to ensure that people and goods have ready access to places of work, distribution areas and the ports.
The Alliance will focus on improvements to safety standards in road construction and maintenance, vehicle standards and driver education and training.