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Budget 2008 must invest in rail system

5 May 2008

Budget 2008 must invest in rail system: Green Party

The Green Party congratulates the Government for finally recognising the important role rail will play in a future with less oil.

"Rail is an essential public asset in a sustainable transport system. It has taken years of pushing by the Green Party for the Government to agree, but we applaud them for doing so now," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"The next step must be substantial investment in the infrastructure and rolling stock. Freight will not move off trucks on to rail while there are delays and unreliable schedules caused by inadequate track, tunnels and bridges, and poor signalling.

"This Budget must begin the work - we don't want to wait another year to invest in this vital transport system.

"This will be expensive but is one of the most important things we can do for our future.

"The Green Party looks forward to a time when many of today's big trucks are off the roads and there are many more trains and coastal ships instead. We also look forward to the reinstatement of long distance passenger rail services so that New Zealanders can still travel when airfares rise further as a result of fuel prices."

ENDS

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