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National Rail Strategy launched

25 May 2005

National Rail Strategy launched

The government today launched the National Rail Strategy.

"This government realises the potential of rail to play a full part in a modern, integrated transport network. The development of rail can help deliver gains in terms of economic growth, reduced congestion, safety, personal security and health. The Strategy provides a framework to develop rail in order to realise these potential benefits," says Transport Minister Pete Hodgson.

The Strategy sets out the government's policy and objectives for rail over the next ten years. Its focus is on increasing the amount of freight and commuters using rail.

The strategy's priorities include:

Improving safety Upgrading the network Improving rail's contribution to regional economic development Optimising the use of rail within the wider transport network, and Improving access to rail for users.

"National's privatisation of rail was a disaster. This government brought New Zealand's rail infrastructure back into public ownership. Business and commuters are already responding to improvements being made. Passenger numbers are up in the main centres and Fonterra and Toll have already announced plan to take move 45,000 truck movements a year from road to rail."

Today's release follows a consultation process initiated by the release of a draft of the Strategy in September 2004 and was developed with the Greens.

ENDS


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