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"Dinosaur" bypass will cheat commuters

"Dinosaur" bypass will cheat commuters

Green MP and Wellington transport spokesperson Sue Kedgley said Transit's decision to go ahead with the bypass showed it was still locked into a 1960's dinosaur approach to transport problems which modern cities had long since abandoned.

"Smart, modern cities are not building motorways through inner, they are investing in state of the art public transport instead," Green Transport and Wellington Spokesperson Ms Kedgley said.

"Smart, modern cities are also concerned about protecting important heritage areas, not bulldozing them."

Ms Kedgley predicted that if Transfund agrees to fund the bypass next on May 3, Wellingtonians will look back in a few years time and realise they've been cheated.

"Congestion will not have been reduced in the slightest, one of the oldest heritage precincts in the city will have been demolished and commuters from Kapiti and the Hutt will still find themselves coming out of the Terrace tunnel and driving through five sets of traffic lights to only one lane at the Mount Victoria tunnel.

"Commuters expecting a new motorway to speed them across town from the Terrace tunnel to the Mount Victoria tunnel will feel cheated and betrayed when they realise, that despite all the hype and the destruction of the Te Aro Heritage precinct, very little has changed and congestion has not been reduced or Wellington's traffic problems solved.

"They will quickly realise that even the alleged 90 seconds of travel savings were a myth, and that every time they stop at one of the traffic lights en route, or try to merge into one line of traffic at the Mount Victoria tunnel, they will lose all the alleged 90 seconds of travel savings."

Ms Kedgley said it was astonishing that Transit had only looked at roading options to solve Wellington's traffic problems, instead of obvious options like upgrading the dilapidated commuter rail link.

"Imagine if $39 million had been spent on upgrading the train carriages on the Hutt and Kapiti and Johnsonville lines, and improving the service on these commuter lines?" Ms Kedgley said. "If we had done this, and persuaded two thousand commuters to leave their cars at home and commute into Wellington by train, there would have been no need for the bypass."

ENDS

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