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C&R Compromise Auckland’s Bus Lane Network

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Thursday 7 May 2009

C&R Compromise Auckland’s Bus Lane Network

At today’s Auckland City Council Transport Committee meeting, Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) block voted to run a trial which will allow vehicles carrying two or three or more people into the Tamaki Drive bus lanes. This is an about-face on existing Council policy where only buses, cyclists and motorcyclists can travel for any distance along bus lanes. Other vehicles may only use them for up to 50 metres to turn in and out of side streets and driveways.

Councillor Leila Boyle said, “Bus lanes play an essential role in reducing Auckland's traffic congestion by helping buses get where they need to go faster and more efficiently. This encourages more people on to buses so there are fewer cars on our roads. My concern with C&R’s decision today is that it compromises Auckland’s bus lane network. Allowing private vehicles into bus lanes will affect the travel times of bus travellers. To make a major policy change like this, without clear criteria to base it on is appalling. This decision-making on the hoof shows C&R’s lack of clarity and transparency

Councillor Cathy Casey said, “There was a lack of information in the report as there was no detail about road users on Tamaki Drive which is of real concern to me. We haven’t even had a report on how the Tamaki Drive bus lanes are working currently after a year of operation. I am worried about how this will affect the safety of commuter cyclists if vehicles other than buses are allowed into the bus lanes.”

Councillor Graeme Easte said, “I am outraged that the money for this project is coming from deferred and cancelled public transport projects through budget reallocation. C&R should have approved the money for this project from the roading budget, to take the money from public transport initiatives is dishonest and just adds insult to injury!”

Councillor Denise Roche said, “We had a debate today on private vehicles versus public transport and we witnessed the triumph of C&R petrol heads over public transport users! It is crazy for this C&R Council to support initiatives that reduce the take-up of public transport use when you look at the longer term environmental effects. We must provide incentives to people to travel on public transport for the greater good of all who live in Auckland city.”

ENDS

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