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Mayor trying to derail rail

2 February 2005

Mayor trying to derail rail

Green MP Sue Kedgley says she's alarmed at attempts by Wellington's Mayor to derail the city's long-awaited and desperately-needed rail upgrade.

"Ms Prendergast has no mandate for her attempts to undermine or delay the long-awaited and desperately-needed rail upgrade," Ms Kedgley , Green Wellington Transport Spokesperson, said.

"If she wanted to get rid of rail, she should have campaigned on it last October. Wellington's rail system is the backbone of our public transport system and needs urgent upgrading rather than dismantling."

Ms Kedgley said she was particularly shocked by the Mayor's attack on the proposed Johnsonville rail upgrade.

"The Johnsonville line is on its last legs. Its newest carriages were built in 1949 and we cannot afford any delay in getting new carriages for this service. I wonder if Ms Prendergast consulted her constituents in the northern suburbs before making such statements.

"The fact that fifty-year-old carriages are still running shows that rail is an effective, long-term investment. Who would want to drive a run-down, fifty-year old car?"

Ms Kedgley said the mayor's suggestion of a guided busway was a red herring designed to delay the rail upgrade.

"Far from being 'old technology', rail is a modern and highly-efficient public transport system. We need to improve its reliability , efficiency and comfort with new carriages.Contrary to what Ms Prendergast claims, there is plenty of evidence that road users will switch to rail transport if it is comfortable, reliable and efficient."

ENDS

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