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Proposal to rip up seats on trains condemned

18 October 2006

Greens condemn absurd proposal to rip up seats on trains

Calls by the Kapiti Transport Action Group for additional Government funding to alleviate the problem of overcrowding on commuter trains in the Wellington region are being echoed by Green Party Wellington Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley.

"The bizarre proposal to rip seats out of trains to pack more commuters onto already overcrowded trains has an absurd Pythonesque quality," Ms Kedgley says.

"The Greater Wellington Regional Council has significantly underestimated the growth in patronage on passenger rail commuter services, and as a result passenger rail has been seriously underfunded.

"Patronage across the Wellington region has increased by 8.6 percent in the last year, and demand is expected to continue to increase. The answer is to expand the number of carriages and trains, not rip up seats. All this would do is rightly put people off travelling by rail, when fuel prices and climate change considerations dictate that we should be encouraging more commuters to use rail.

"I welcome the action this morning by the Kapiti Transport Action Group to raise awareness of this ludicrous proposal and urge the Greater Wellington Regional Council to immediately seek more funding to cope with increased demand in a sensible way," Ms Kedgley says.

ENDS

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