Speech Notes From Launch Of Green Transport Policy
23 July 2002
Speech notes from launch of Green transport policy
Auckland MP, and associate transport spokesperson Keith Locke's speech notes from the launch of the Green Party's transport policy at Newmarket railway station today.
Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons and Transport spokesperson Sue Kedgley spoke on the national policy, while Keith made the following comments on the Auckland situation. The three MPs travelled to the launch on a train from Auckland station, and after the launch caught a Link bus back into the city.
The Green Party says that Auckland is moving towards gridlock if car use continues to increase.
We say that the solution is to encourage Aucklanders to use their cars less by providing them with good public transport alternatives.
Instead of wasting hundreds of millions of dollars building a new Eastern Highway, why not spend that money on upgrading our run-down rail network, improving the stations and services, and getting new carriages, so that we get people out of their cars and into trains.
This Newmarket station is a hub for Auckland, yet it does not have adequate cover or facilities for people to have a cup of coffee while they wait for trains. [It was raining during the launch]
The Green Party supports the completion of the Auckland rail network, with work on a new line through the Avondale-Southdown corridor in preference to the planned extension of State Highway 20. There should also be a new central city rapid rail link from downtown Auckland past the university and the hospital.
There are huge economic benefits to Auckland in reducing the congestion on our roads by investing to make the public transport network hum, with frequent services and good bus and ferry connectors.
Also it would be much more healthy. Recently published research shows that as many people suffer premature death from the pollution as die in road accidents.
As a country, we can't afford not to divert around $100 million dollars a year of the money currently being used to construct new urban motorways into improving the public transport infrastructure.
The Green Party also promotes other alternatives to car use, particularly walking and cycling. We need a network of cycleways, to enable people to travel quickly throughout the city without having to fight with cars for road space.