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Copeland goes to bat for Wellington trolley buses

Copeland goes to bat for Wellington trolley buses


Miramar based United Future MP, Gordon Copeland, has gone into bat for the retention of the Wellington trolley bus service.

"My office has made inquiries with both Vector and Stagecoach in relation to this matter and it appears that Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ) are creating the current log jam," said Mr Copeland.

"LTNZ is insisting that running a trolley bus is the same as running a diesel bus and will, according to the information supplied to me, provide funding for trolley buses that equates to only half the cost of the diesel buses.

"I believe that this reasoning is fundamentally flawed. The LTNZ approach may have been justified over recent years when the diesel, which drives buses and the electricity, which powers trolley buses, were both readily available, and to that extent, somewhat interchangeable. That situation has now changed. The price of oil has more than doubled in the last twelve months and that trend looks set to continue.

"Since diesel bus operating costs will inevitably increase over time with resultant higher fares (or LTNZ subsidies) necessary to keep the diesel fleet viable. In such circumstances, Wellington is blessed to have an alternative in the trolley buses which is powered by electricity.

"Put another way, it is now a strategic necessity, from both a cost and energy supply point of view for the trolley bus service to be both continued and arguably expanded to new routes.

"My office will continue to do what we can to see this matter resolved with that strategic objective in mind."

ENDS

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