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Aucklanders and Greens on same wavelength

13 September 2005

Aucklanders and Greens on same transport wavelength

A new independent survey shows almost twice as many Aucklanders think public transport is the solution to congestion as think more roads are the answer, validating the Green Party's approach to Auckland transport.

In a survey to be considered today by the Auckland Regional Council, 87 percent of Aucklanders agreed or strongly agreed that public transport would make it easier to get around Auckland, while only 46 percent felt the same way about roading improvements. Details are below this press statement.

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says the results reinforce the fact that Green Party proposals for a comprehensive upgrade of public transport are far more in tune with Aucklanders' wishes than National's desire to downgrade public transport in favour of big roads.

"To get what they want, Aucklanders need to party vote Green, or risk losing any hope of a proper public transport system under National," said Ms Fitzsimons, who is this morning going on a whistle-stop tour on Auckland's public transport systems.

For Election 2005, the Greens released a comprehensive plan to upgrade Auckland's public transport called "Getting There" which focuses on completing an electric rail network together with greatly expanded bus services.

"Aucklanders are starting to notice that there's been less traffic on the road in recent weeks," Ms Fitzsimons says. "Despite what people say, higher pump prices are having an effect - many people simply can't afford to drive as much as they used to. What all Aucklanders need more than ever now is a real commitment to public transport so people have a real choice in the face of rising petrol prices.

"National's head in the sand approach to Auckland transport, including its disdain for rail, is putting at risk the hard-won regional consensus on real solutions for Auckland's transport needs.

"Taken literally, National's 'all petrol tax on roads' approach would mean no public transport at all, never mind the rail upgrade. National's transport policy is stuck in the 1950s and completely out of touch with Aucklanders' own views on their transport needs.

"It is economically, socially, and environmentally irresponsible for National to put at risk the development of travel options that will provide reliable, secure and less expensive alternatives to the car.

"Today's survey and high petrol prices show just how urgent it is to make real progress on public transport. The Greens are the only party offering to deliver what Aucklanders want and what Aucklanders need."

ENDS

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