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Roading claims nothing but spin - Brownlee

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Transport Spokesman

05 November 2003

Roading claims nothing but spin - Brownlee

National Party Transport spokesman Gerry Brownlee says the Auckland Issues Minister's claims about new fast-tracked roading projects is nothing more than Government spin.

"$24 million is a drop in the bucket which won't make any real difference to Auckland's multi-billion dollar gridlock problem."

Mr Brownlee's commenting on claims from Judith Tizard that 'progress is at last being made' following Transit's decision to bring forward some Auckland projects that were originally programmed for later in the 10-year state highway plan.

"That'll come as no comfort at all for the Wellington motorists who've seen Transmission Gully repeatedly sidelined. It's of no help to drivers in the Bay of Plenty or those in the South Island.

"The simple fact is that this Labour Government is not spending enough repairing our dilapidated roading infrastructure and no amount of budget juggling by Transit will solve that.

"I'm sure the $3 million being spent upgrading storm water run-off will help, and I'm sure the $4.5 million investigation into extending Transit's closed circuit television system will also help longer term, but it's barely scratching the surface," says Mr Brownlee.

"Hundreds of thousands of man hours will be lost by the time buses start rolling down new bus lanes which could be introduced sometime within the next three years, subject to further consultation.

"It's testament to Labour's arrogance that Judith Tizard is also claiming 'the imminent passing of the Land Transport Management Bill would provide important tools for improving Auckland's - and New Zealand's - transport system'.

"But as the Employers and Manufacturers Association says the Bill is 'a con job being wrought on road users'. The claim's backed up with new research that finds Auckland's roading issues are costing the city $11 million a day or $2.7 billion a year, not including vehicle and fuel costs.

"National has offered to work with Labour to salvage the Land Transport legislation on behalf of Auckland and New Zealand. Paul Swain's knee jerk refusal simply reinforces the point that this Government's not really serious about fixing our roads," Mr Brownlee says.

Ends

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