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Labour will fund the Capital Connection

Phil Twyford
Transport Spokesperson

Iain Lees-Galloway
MP for Palmerston North

23 June 2014

Labour will fund the Capital Connection

The next Labour government will ensure the future of the Capital Connection by funding it on a similar basis to other commuter rail services, say Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford and Labour’s MP for Palmerston North Iain Lees-Galloway.

“Following KiwiRail’s announcement that it was facing difficulty running the Capital Connection service as a commercial operation, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee received a sound business case from Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils in July 2012. It recommended the councils and Government work together to fund the service as a commuter train,” says Phil Twyford.

“But Gerry Brownlee never responded to the business case. Instead he hoped KiwiRail’s decision to keep the Capital Connection going until 2015 would be enough to make the issue go away.

“Labour will invest in all transport modes, not just roads, to deliver an efficient and sustainable transport system. As the business case shows, the Capital Connection stacks up. We will work with local councils to keep it on the rails.

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway says Labour has heard the call from the Manawatu, Horowhenua and Kapiti communities who want to save the train.

“I’ve been just one of many advocates for the Capital Connection. I’ve lobbied the Minister, KiwiRail, Parliament’s Transport Committee and, of course, my own colleagues. This firm commitment from Labour is what people have asked for and what is needed to secure commuter rail in the lower North Island.

“There is now a clear path to saving the Capital Connection: Electing a Labour-led government,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.

Regional Council business case: http://www.horizons.govt.nz/assets/publications/getting-people-places-publications/Capital-Connection-business-plan.pdf

ENDS

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