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Transmission Gully makes no sense, say Greens

24 June 2008

Transmission Gully makes no sense, say Greens

With petrol costing over $US130 a barrel, it makes no sense to build a billion dollar motorway, especially one along an earthquake fault line, Green Party Wellington Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"With the numbers of cars on the roads actually decreasing, what price does oil have to hit before the Government will cease their billion dollar motorway binge?

"Rocketing petrol prices are already reducing the number of cars on the roads as people pack into the underfunded public transport system, which is barely coping at the best of times," Ms Kedgley says.

"Commuters are saying right now they can't afford to drive to work, so how will they be able to pay even more for this project through tolls and fuel taxes?

"Nor will local or regional bodies be keen to fork out millions of ratepayers' money to fund a shortfall of $600 million.

"Instead of building motorways that few people will be able to afford to use, the region must develop a strategy to reduce its oil dependence, which can be done for much less than this motorway," Ms Kedgley says.

"Wellington desperately needs a light rail network, electrification of the Otaki rail link, and greatly improved public transport.

It is not the lack of motorways, but our dependence on oil that prevents people from travelling around the region, and it is only a matter of time before the situation worsens as petrol becomes even more unaffordable.

"It is time for regional planners to accept the reality that oil prices will remain high and that motorways like transmission Gully will just become white elephants."


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