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Govt must pay attention to public over transport priorities

25 February 2013
Govt must pay attention to public over transport priorities

The National Government is completely out of step with public opinion when it comes to its transport priorities, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

According to a recent poll of 750 New Zealanders by UMR Research support for spending on public transport has almost doubled over the last 20 years.

“Over the next decade, the Government plans to spend less than five percent of new capital expenditure on public transport infrastructure, while wasting 75 percent of that spend ($12 billion) on low value motorways,” said Ms Genter.

“The public understands that New Zealand needs to shift spending away from redundant motorway projects - and catch up with the rest of the world with reliable, fast buses and trains.

"Demand for trains and buses is at record highs, while traffic volumes on state highways haven't increased for seven years.

"This is an opportunity to invest for the future, but the Government needs to change its priorities now, in order to meet the needs and preferences of the 21st century.

“Smart, green transport reduces our petrol bills, improves our health, and means more vibrant towns and cities that Kiwis want.

“Acting now will protect the New Zealand economy and the taxpayer from high oil prices and an unstable global economy,” Ms Genter said.

“The Government needs to get its head out of the 1950s and start listening to the public when it comes to public transport.”

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