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Buy-Back of Auckland Rail Corridors a Money Waste

Buy-Back of Auckland Rail Corridors a Waste of Money

Monday, October 1 2001 Richard Prebble Press Releases -- Transport

The government's decision to spend $81 million to buy back the Auckland rail corridors, is a silly waste of taxpayers' money, ACT leader Richard Prebble says.

"Tranz Rail was prepared to keep running suburban trains and negotiate to upgrade them if the Auckland Regional Council so desired," Mr Prebble said.

"For $81 million, the Crown and the council will receive nothing they don't already have.

"The government owns the land beneath the rail corridors. Tranz Rail only has a lease that allows it to use the corridors for rail purposes ' which is exactly what the government says it wants them for.

"For $81 million, the government could measurably upgrade Auckland's bus services, including putting in dedicated bus lanes along motorway corridors. Repeated studies have shown that buses carry far more people, at a lower cost and to where people want to go.

"The proposed rail scheme for Auckland follows travel routes that match only 16 percent of passenger journeys.

"The $81 million on the rail corridors, coupled with the $400 million for Britomart, means the subsidy per passenger will be massive. It would be cheaper to give every rail passenger a free taxi ride every day.

"Of course, the real solution to Auckland's traffic woes is to complete the motorway network ' something that under this government is stalled, just like Auckland's traffic," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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