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Crank-up public transport investment,

13 April 2007

Crank-up public transport investment, hearings conclude

Earlier and greater public transport investment could be a result of hearings into the region’s transport strategy.

Greater Wellington is currently reviewing its Regional Land Transport Strategy setting out how the land transport network in the Wellington region is to be managed over the next ten years and beyond.

The Council received 1294 submissions on the draft and heard 81 submitters at hearings in March.

Cr Terry McDavitt, chairman of the hearings committee, said: “The need for a bolder public transport programme with bolder targets has been the consistent theme in all forms of public feedback, and will be a main recommendation to the Regional Land Transport Committee.

“The subcommittee considering the submissions sees some urgency in this. We know our public transport network is not performing well under current pressures, but also know that those pressures are going to increase. Accordingly, we want to see acceleration of investment in public transport capacity and reliability beginning this year not next. We need to get this message across now to Government and the regional community.

“It is quite easy to describe what needs to be done in public transport. The hard part is working out how it is to be paid for, when and by whom. The RLTS subcommittee expects Regional Council and Government to give priority to finding answers to those questions.”

Cr McDavitt believed there were likely to be few changes to the region’s roading programme.

He added: “Roading has received a lot of attention recently, and there are several studies underway to complete the picture.

“It would be premature to make amendments to the programme without the benefit of those studies. But we do need to get ready to answer the hard prioritisation questions that will arise as soon as those studies are completed, so we will be recommending further work on that in the meantime.

“A revision of the strategy is to be completed by the end of June. This means a delay on the original timetable. However, we prefer to do it once and get it right.”

ENDS

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