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Green party announces cost saving transport plan

19 August 2011

Green party announces cost saving transport plan

The Green Party will save billions from the Government’s books by cutting wasteful spending on new motorway developments and investing in smart public transport initiatives instead, Transport Spokesperson Gareth Hughes announced today.

The cost saving announcement was made at the Smart Transport Solutions conference being co-hosted by the Green Party and the Labour Party in Wellington today.

“We have a plan that reduces government debt and reduces wasteful spending on unnecessary motorways,” said Mr Hughes.

“We plan to invest in smart transport that the public want, like light rail in Wellington and Christchurch and the CBD rail loop in Auckland.

“Our plan will reduce congestion, improve travel time, create more jobs, reduce greenhouse emissions and save the Government money. It is a smarter spend than the Government’s splurge on motorways.

The Green Party would:

1. Fund at least 60 per cent or $1.4 billion of the Auckland CBD Rail Link.
2. Allocate $250 million towards the cost of additional trains to run on the enhanced network.
3. Fund at least 60 per cent or $300 million for each of the light rail projects proposed in Wellington and Christchurch.
4. Make available $75m extra a year for walking and cycling in 2012-2016 and $100 million extra from 2017-2022.

The 2012 Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport Funding plans to spend, on average, $26.6 billion on roads over the next ten years and only $5.8 billion on more sustainable alternatives like train and bus services, walking, and cycling.

“We could spend $6 billion to finish those state highways we have already begun building, invest in our smart transport projects and still save the taxpayer up to $3.5 billion,” said Mr Hughes.

“Borrowing to spend for motorways is fiscally irresponsible. Motorways such as Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Wellsford don’t make economic sense.

“National says their motorway projects are good for creating jobs, however it costs between $500,000 to $1 million to create one motorway job.

“Even Don Brash, in his 2025 taskforce report, said of Transmission Gully, there was no evidence the project would provide a net benefit to the economy.

“The Green Party transport plan is balanced, resilient and sustainable. It represents a sensible approach to 21st Century transport spending.”

Copy of Gareth Hughes’ speech to the Smart Transport Solutions conference: http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/smart-transport-solutions

ENDS

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