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Rail should make better sense forTransit

21 October 2005

Rail should make better sense in Transit's equations

It would be crazy to build a new motorway through Transmission Gully if it results in just 4000 vehicles a day being removed from the congested Mana Esplanade, the Green Party says.

Transit New Zealand has estimate that the proposed shorter Transmission Gully route would remove only 4000 vehicles a day from the 30,000 expected to be using Mana Esplanade in the future.

Green Party Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says that instead, transport planners should be developing strategies to encourage those commuters to use rail to get to Wellington City.

"A state of the art, reliable and attractive commuter rail service between Otaki and Wellington could easily encourage the people in those 4000 cars to travel to Wellington by train instead of by car - and for a fraction of the cost.

"If oil prices continue to rise steadily, as they are predicted to, commuters will readily switch to rail if it is regular, reliable and attractive," Ms Kedgley said.

"Commuters travel to work by train in most major cities in the world where there is a first class rail network, and there is no reason to believe Wellington would be any different.

"All we need to do is upgrade our tired and dilapidated rail infrastructure, which has had virtually no investment for 50 years.

Ms Kedgley says the planned new road would be built along an active earthquake fault and she could not understand why, with the high danger of a major quake striking the region, the road was still being considered.

"It's the old ostrich approach. People just seem to have their head in the sand about the issue," she said.

ENDS

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