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Road rage will spread from highways to ballot box

Media statement For immediate release

Thursday, 23 January 2003

Road rage will spread from highways to ballot box, warns MP

Transit NZ's 10-year schedule of road construction projects is further proof of just how miserable the Government's road infrastructure spending programme is, United Future's transport spokesman Larry Baldock said today.

"With only $1.6 billion allocated for the next 10 years on new construction, it is no wonder there is anger being expressed all over the country as motorists and business look at how long they will have to wait for relief from dangerous roads and traffic congestion.

"While the new legislation will help the situation by allowing for toll roads and PPPs, it this won't address all the country's needs," Mr Baldock said.

"I will continue to call on the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport to have the courage to direct more resources from the surplus the Government is expected to have this year from increased tax revenue, into the Road Transport Account.

"With our cities regularly becoming grid-locked, we've got to stop diverting the revenue from fuel excise taxes into the Consolidated Fund for other purposes.

"Anger being expressed across the country this week at the release of Transit's 10-year projection is just the beginning of a wave of road rage that the Government would be silly to ignore," he said.

"Our economy will be affected if Transit is forced to play the slow catch-up game with our road infrastructure after years of under-funding." . Transport terminals like the Port of Tauranga, which handles 34% of New Zealand's exports, cannot be allowed to become grid-locked with traffic congestion, the Tauranga-based MP said.


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