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Extra trains good, but rail link essential

Shane JONES
Transport Spokesperson
Phil TWYFORD
Local Government, Auckland Issues Spokesperson

1 September 2011

Extra trains good, but rail link essential

Extra electric trains for Auckland won’t solve the city’s public transport woes unless there is also a commitment to the city rail link, Labour MPs said today.

Labour’s Transport spokesperson Shane Jones and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford said today’s announcement of a memorandum of understanding between the Government and the city to fund extra electric trains was a step in the right direction.

“At least Transport Minister Steven Joyce has climbed out of his big highway rig for long enough to confront the real world facing Auckland commuters, but trains by themselves won’t be enough without an adequate network for them to run on,” Shane Jones said.

“After almost three years totally preoccupied with building roads, Steven Joyce has had a pre-election epiphany and realised trains have a role to play in our lives as well.”

Phil Twyford said while he welcomed more trains, there was a major irony in today’s announcement.

“These trains are an essential step toward a new future in which the city rail link will provide the answer to many of Auckland’s commuter problems.

“The only trouble is that Steven Joyce is continuing to do his best to delay and kill off the city rail link itself,” Phil Twyford said.

“Without the rail link we won’t get real value out of this major new investment. It’s crazy to spend half a billion on electric trains but not support the rail link.”

Shane Jones said electric trains will allow more and faster services across the network. “But what is the point when the network is almost at capacity, and only the rail link can solve that?”

ENDS

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