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Baldock: A win in fight for roading 'efficiency'

Media Statement For immediate release Wednesday, 5 November 2003

Baldock: A win in fight for roading 'efficiency'

The replacing of the words "cost effective" with "efficient and effective" in the Land Transport Management Bill in Parliament yesterday is a small step towards a better roading network, United Future's transport spokesman Larry Baldock said today.

"Cost-effective is a given, of course, but this bill has been well wide of the mark on efficiency," he said.

"To put it bluntly, if the taxpayer is going to subsidise everything from rail, to walking, cycling and coastal shipping, then those things must be contributing to the overall efficiency of the country's transport network.

"I was very happy to see Transport Minister Paul Swain adopt my amendment on this, but there should have been more specific reference to efficiency in the bill," Mr Baldock said.

"New Zealanders want a transport system that enables them and goods to move freely, without time-wasting and frustrating delays caused by congestion, which is often the case now."

Mr Baldock also said a greater focus on safe roads was important.

'Straighter, smoother, and with more divided highways - it's simple, but it's what we need to help reduce road deaths from head-on collisions. All of this will save us money in the long run and, therefore, further contribute to the network's efficiency."

The bill still contained too much pandering to Green sentiments, he said.

"Yes, we want to take notice of the roading network's effect on the environment and social concerns, but these considerations should not be the dominating factor. Sustainability involves a balance between social, environmental and economic concerns."

Ends.

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