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‘Timeliness’ the new issue in Transport

Media Release: September 5 2005

‘Timeliness’ the new issue in Transport

The emerging point of difference with transport policy between the political parties in this election campaign is no longer the amount they will spend but the rate of progress they will demand, said AA Motoring Policy Manager Jayne Gale today.

Ms Gale was responding to a National Party election promise to complete the Auckland western ring route and harbour-to-city viaduct within eight years.

“Last year these projects were to be completed by 2014 at a total cost of $1.1 billion. This year they are forecast to be completed by 2015 at a total cost of $1.45 billion. It seems every year the completion date slips another year and the price increases. It is time that political pressure was brought to bear to ensure transport projects are completed on time and within budget,” she said.

At a time when motorists are paying record amounts of tax for roads the AA is concerned to see that motorists get the results they are paying for.

“The issue in transport is no longer about whether funding is available but rather whether funding extracted from motorists at considerable cost to many household budgets is going to be returned in the form of better services in a reasonable timeframe. To date it takes many years longer in New Zealand to deliver new transport projects compared to the rate of progress in many other developed western nations. These delays only increase the costs. It is therefore highly appropriate for the parties to compete with each other on the issue of timeliness,” said Ms Gale.

Ms Gale hoped that the National Party promise would not be the last in this election campaign to address this issue and that the other parties would also be prepared to commit to deadlines on the major transport projects.


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