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Don't allow trolley buses to die, say Greens

5 December 2005

Don't allow trolley buses to die, say Greens

It is horrifying that bickering over repairs to Wellington's ageing trolley bus infrastructure could put the whole fleet at risk, Green Party Wellington Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

An argument between lines company Vector and Stagecoach over the cost of upgrading power substations has postponed and possibly scuttled the buying of new trolley buses.

"A legacy of decades of infrastructure neglect should not be allowed to kill off our trolley bus fleet,' Ms Kedgley says.

"If the dispute continues to drag on, the Green Party will re-launch its petition and embark on a major campaign to keep the trolley buses.

"The trolley buses are a major strategic asset and a Wellington icon and must not be allowed to be put at risk. All parties need to get together as soon as possible so the long promised upgrade of our 60 trolley buses can proceed.

"The Green Party's petition earlier this year demonstrated that Wellingtonians are right behind our trolley buses and want to see the fleet upgraded and expanded.

"Land Transport New Zealand should be taking a lead in resolving this dispute and ensuring that the fleet can be upgraded. It has a legal obligation to promote sustainable transport and needs to start putting its money where its Act is.

"The Regional Council and Stagecoach were supposed to sign off a contract on the trolley buses over a year ago, and instead it is being continually delayed as the dispute drags on.

"As climate change and the end of cheap oil approach, we desperately need sustainable alternatives such as electric-powered trolley buses. The Greens would like to see them, in time, powered as much as possible by locally generated wind energy, so people can 'Ride the Wind'.

"The last thing we need is to be totally dependent on diesel for our bus fleet," Ms Kedgley says.

ENDS

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