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Road lobby loses its way

Road lobby loses its way

Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today warned that the vested interests of the road lobby had fired their first salvos in their self-proclaimed war to de-rail the Land Transport Management Bill.

"The prominent placement of adverts in the major daily papers this morning is their opening shot," said Jeanette Fitzsimons. "And, like in any war, the first casualty is truth.

"Reading today's advertisements makes one wonder whether the people funding these ads have even read the Bill. To claim it will make it harder for forestry freight to get to market defies logic - freight needs a workable rail system and a funding system that takes into account regional development.

"The Bill and new funding framework provide both.

"Far from taking money away from roads, the Greens were the only party outside Government to support legislation that put $227 million into transport, including $93 million for new roading.

"The $3 million allocated in the same package into investigating walking and cycling alternatives would have bought no more than a few hundred metres of new motorway.

"It is basic common sense that businesses benefit if some motorists use public transport, walking and cycling for some trips. Auckland would be in a far worse state without the 25 percent growth it has seen in public transport use.

"Even if $4 billion is spent on new roading for Auckland, congestion over the next ten years is predicted to get much worse," said Jeanette. "Only by providing alternatives for some of the road traffic can we prevent that. "The Land Transport Management Bill puts our transport system in the mainstream of 21st Century transport thinking - are these lobbyists seriously saying they want a nation without trains, buses, bicycles or footpaths?

"Without an integrated, sustainable transport system all we'll be left with is four million cars - one each - all sitting bumper-to-bumper."

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