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National promising Aucklanders more gridlock

24 August 2005

National promising Aucklanders more gridlock

The National Party's admission this morning that it will put no more funding into new public transport projects should set off alarm bells amongst Aucklanders concerned about gridlock.

"Maurice Williamson's astonishing statement that National would not even complete Auckland's core railway network is a recipe for massive increases in congestion," Green Co-Leader and Transport Spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"You simply can't build roads fast enough to keep congestion under control. Infrastructure Auckland has told me that, if all the motorways that anyone has ever asked for were built in Auckland straight away, in ten years' time congestion would be worse on every Auckland motorway than it is now.

"National's roads-first approach is a very expensive exercise in making the congestion problem worse. The only way to reduce that congestion is to provide a quality public transport system and thus free up the roads for those who have to use them.

"The capacity of the Auckland rail system is currently only four million passenger trips a year. Just completing the core rail system would increase that to 38 million trips a year, the equivalent of an eight-lane motorway from the South of Auckland, through the city, and out to the West, but the rails are already there so it doesn't require any new land.

"In time that could be extended further to raise the capacity to 50 million passenger trips a year. Combined with a much improved bus service, integrated ticketing and travel demand management such as school travel plans, it is the cheapest and, in fact, the only way of reducing congestion.

"This is the only sensible, sustainable solution to Auckland's transport woes."


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