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Poll shows Govt’s dinosaur transport plans behind the times

Poll shows Government’s ‘dinosaur’ transport plans behind the times

25 February 2013

Youth organisation Generation Zero has endorsed a recent poll by UMR research showing that support for spending on public transport has doubled over the last 20 years.

When asked whether they preferred Government money being spent on motorways and public roads or on public transport, 48 per cent of survey participants supported spending on public transport - in contrast, 37 per cent supported spending on motorways and public roads.

The poll by UMR Research shows the changing times in New Zealand with a reverse from 1992, when 43 per cent of those surveyed preferred Government money to be spent on motorways and other public roads, compared with 25 per cent support for public transport as the priority spending candidate.

Generation Zero spokesperson Louis Chambers said, “It’s time for the Government to get with the times on transport funding in New Zealand.”

The centrepiece of the Government’s transport strategy is to spend over $12 billion on its seven so-called ‘Roads of National Significance’.

To raise the money for these motorways, the Government has had to raise fuel taxes and is amending the Land Transport Management Act to allow the New Zealand Transport Agency unlimited borrowing capacity with only a signoff from the Finance Minister required.

Meanwhile, the Government is refusing to fund smart transport initiatives like the Auckland City Rail Link, and the National Land Transport Programme 2012-15 shows that for every dollar invested in new infrastructure for rail, buses, walking and cycling, 20 dollars will be spent on new state highways.

“This poll shows that New Zealanders understand our transport future can’t look like the past, and smart cities need smart transport systems to support them,” said Mr Chambers.

“But the Government doesn’t seem to get it - spending billions on unnecessary and uneconomic motorways like the Kapiti Expressway at the expense of vital smart transport projects like the City Rail Link.”

“The Government’s dinosaur transport plans will entrench ‘business as usual’, locking us into increased carbon emissions and dependence on foreign oil. As young Kiwis, that’s not what the future we want to be handed.”

“It’s time to deliver New Zealanders the better public transport systems that they’re calling for, but this will only be possible if we stop throwing money at these motorways of madness.”

About Generation Zero:
Generation Zero is an independent youth organisation seeking to catalyse action on climate change in New Zealand. For more information see:
www.generationzero.org.nz
www.facebook.com/GenerationZero

ENDS

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