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Government loses way on roading


Government loses way on roading

Cycling advocates are gobsmacked that the government has committed to spending an extra $1.5 billion on roads days. "This is a poor strategic choice. Let's be clear about this - more roads will not relieve Auckland’s congestion, they will simply encourage more vehicles onto our already overwhelmed roading network. Unless funds for passenger transport and alternatives such as cycling are committed, Auckland’s motorists will face worsening traffic jams", said Bevan Woodward of the Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN).

"The only way to relieve congestion is to get people out of cars. If the government was serious about relieving the costs of congestion it would finance an upgrade of Auckland's rail system and pay for cycling infrastructure that would make getting around by bicycle easy and safe", Mr Woodward said.

“The government should instead be spending on sustainable transport options. It seems bizarre that while we are prepared to spend substantial amounts of money paying to upgrade fragments of roading, an integrated, a sustainable transport network consistent with the governments own strategies seems to be beyond us."

CAN says that the decision flies in the face of almost every government strategy, including the Cycling and Walking Strategy, and the New Zealand Transport Strategy. Even Robin Dunlop, Secretary for Transport, has recently stated: “It’s time to recognise that we cannot pave our way out of traffic”.

CAN notes that part of Dr Cullen's budget speech referred to the serious consequences of global warming and the likelihood of high oil prices continuing. Says Mr Woodward: "If the government is concerned about these issues, it shouldn't be putting another cent into roads. It should be funding ways that allow New Zealanders to choose transport options other than having to use private motor vehicles. "


Ends

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