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New traffic for the road less travelled

New traffic for the road less travelled

The Green Party is hailing the third reading of the Land Transport Management Bill today as a landmark day for both MMP and for New Zealanders.

"This, effectively, closes the decades of 'endless highway' mentality and opens a new era in which sustainable solutions to transport problems come into their own, said Green Co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons. "We finally have a law for the 21st century rather than the 1950s."

The Greens and the Government have been working closely on this legislation, which brings the international themes of integrated transport systems and sustainability into our transport planning at long last. Ms Fitzsimons said she was particularly pleased aspects of her Road Traffic Reduction Bill are reflected in the new legislation.

"This Bill is tangible proof that in an MMP world colleagues can disagree on some issues and work together on others.

"It also is a recognition that the transport sector cannot endlessly build its way out of problems," said Jeanette Fitzsimons. "The Bill commits us to look for the best solution, rather than just the next road - and makes economic, social and environmental considerations a core part of that equation. At last we have a law that recognises transport is about people not just concrete."

"It is particularly good news for Auckland.

"The only solution to Auckland's traffic woes is to give people better options. That means providing commuters with fast efficient rail, bus and ferry services and offering safe footpaths and cycleways. For freight, it means developing rail - including inland ports and transfer stations - and coastal shipping.

"It means freeing up the roads for those who really need them - short haul goods traffic, emergency vehicles, car pools and individual cars where circumstances make that necessary. The 'more motorways' crowd are really the 'more congestion' crowd - only those cities with a balanced approach have come anywhere near tackling congestion.

"As a result of this legislation, land transport in New Zealand no longer means just the car and the motorway. It means that rail, bus, ferry, barges, the bike and the footpath gain equal status," Ms Fitzsimons said. "This Bill provides a long-overdue framework for transport innovation - now it's over to people and communities to find the 'win-win' solutions that work for them."

ENDS

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