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Ambitious rail plan reduces need for new motorways


15 May, 2003

Ambitious rail plan reduces need for new motorways

Auckland Green MP Keith Locke has praised the draft Auckland Passenger Rail plan, saying it reduces the need for new motorways.

"This ambitious plan will give Aucklanders much more confidence in public transport and reduce both road congestion and the need for new motorways," said Mr Locke, the Green Associate Transport spokesperson.

"The projected tenfold increase in rail passengers will spill over into increased patronage for buses.

"With trains projected every ten minutes and better bus connections, people will have confidence to leave their cars at home, or at suburban station carparks.

"The Green MPs will be pushing for Government funding agency Transfund to come to the party with its share of money for this massive infrastructural development.

"The plan's authors rightly point out that this project has a "strong fit" with the New Zealand Transport Strategy that the Green Party worked closely with the Government to introduce.

"As the report points out, rail is much better than road transport per passenger kilometre whether you look at infrastructure costs, operating expenses, noise, accidents or gas emissions.

"The electrification of the rail network will certainly reduce the pollution which currently bedevils Auckland.

"The other big plus is that the plan projects a full network of rail for Auckland, including a CBD connection, an Avondale-Southdown line, an airport connection and an one through East Tamaki.

"With this rail revamp there will be no need for the Eastern Highway, which would have so disrupted communities and damaged the environment," said Mr Locke.

ENDS


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