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Government’s transport vision riddled with blind spots

Monday 16 June 2014

Government’s transport vision riddled with blind spots

The draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding released yesterday continues an unhealthy motorway obsession and shows the Government is neither taking climate change seriously nor listening to what the public wants, says youth organisation Generation Zero.

“The Government’s transport vision is at best one-eyed, and at worst completely blind,” said Generation Zero spokesperson Paul Young.

Funding parameters are essentially unchanged from the previous GPS, with public transport, walking and cycling together receiving around 11% of the total budget and less than 4% of funding for new infrastructure.

Mr Young: “Land transport accounts for around 40% of New Zealand’s CO2 emissions, but somehow the GPS fails to even mention the Government’s emissions reduction targets. There’s also no mention of future oil price trends, and no mention of changing youth transport preferences.”

“Not only is that reckless and irresponsible, it’s out of line with public opinion.”

“A 2013 poll by UMR Research found that 48% of New Zealanders think funding for public transport should be prioritised over motorways and roads compared with 37% on the contrary. Yet the Government continues to spend billions on duplicate motorways with dubious cost-benefit ratios while delaying transformative low-carbon transport projects like the Auckland City Rail Link.”

“Strong public demand has seen local councils around the country majorly boost cycleway funding in the last three years, but the pitiful $1m increase for cycling proposed in the GPS will see councils going it alone.”

“Overall this is a very disappointing rehash of the status quo, clinging to the past rather than embracing the shift to clean, low carbon transport that needs to happen and is happening.”

Generation Zero has worked with partners to develop affordable transport plans for Auckland and Wellington that reduce emissions and provide transport choices that will get these cities moving for cheaper.


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