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Green bill would cut road use

Green bill would cut road use

Child safety and less traffic are the key principles behind Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimons' private member's bill, to be introduced into the House tonight [approx. 8pm Wednesday.]

The Road Traffic Reduction Bill builds on the key points laid out in yesterday's Government Transport Strategy, which was developed in partnership with the Greens.

"Some people think that all we need to solve problems of congestion is to build more motorways," said Jeanette. "But the evidence is against them. No country in the world has managed to solve congestion for long just by building more roads.

"Forty per cent of Auckland land is now set aside for transport. If Auckland's economy or Auckland's population doubles, does that have to become 80%? Or will Auckland sprawl instead from Hamilton to Whangarei?

"This Bill starts from the presumption that vehicle use does not need to grow at the same rate as the economy or population, if we adopt strategies of doing more with less for longer."

The bill requires the Minister of Transport and regional councils to put in place targets, timetables and measures to reduce motorised traffic, in order to enhance environmental quality and the health, safety and wellbeing of people and communities.

"For regions, these would include internet-based car pooling, safe cycle paths, 'walking' school buses, priority lanes for public transport and pedestrian short cuts to save driving. The choice is left to the local community.

"The benefits will be substantial savings in economic costs as well as clean air, less greenhouses gas, safer streets and healthier people."

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