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Brownlee Off Rail And on Road to Nowhere

Brownlee Off Rail And on Road to Nowhere

The National Government has confirmed it has no plan to make smart use of rail to relieve traffic congestion in either Auckland or Christchurch, says New Zealand First.

“National is condemning motorists to a future of long queues and delays through its obsession with road building,” says New Zealand First Transport Spokesperson Denis O’Rourke.

“Road building does not lead to less congestion. However, passenger rail can make a major, practical and affordable contribution to the nation’s major transport woes.

“In Parliament the government was, as usual, dismissive when questioned, this time on why it is giving so little priority to rail and public transport.

“Minister for Land Transport Gerry Brownlee would not even reflect on getting the Auckland city rail link completed earlier than 2020. Instead, he said the government’s commitment is to speed up roading projects.

“When asked why a commuter service using the existing rail line north of Christchurch is not being addressed Mr Brownlee was again visionless.

“He confirmed National is not considering rail and also appears to be doing nothing at all about relieving congestion on the Northern Motorway

“National’s obsession with more and bigger roads as the only solution for the main centres demonstrates backward thinking that was abandoned by advanced cities decades ago,” says Mr O’Rourke.

“Mr Brownlee is determined not to learn from examples from other countries. Building more and more roads will waste billions of taxpayer dollars, and will only create more demand.

“However, his glory will be in the handshakes from National’s mates in the road construction industry. This is more about big business than it is about the motorist.

“New Zealand First believes rail can be smartly used while still ensuring that the strategic road network is improved in a way which moderates demand and integrating all modes, rather than relying excessively only on one.

“The Government’s road-oriented Policy Statement on Land Transport is a huge disappointment which will solve nothing,” says Mr O’Rourke.


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