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Napier-Gisborne rail closure short sighted

1 September 2012

Napier-Gisborne rail closure short sighted

KiwiRail’s announcement that it will close the Napier-Gisborne rail line is a penny pinching move that will be devastating for the regional economy and make roads in the region more dangerous for locals said the Green Party today.

“Closing an important transport link will impact the local economy. It is not a smart move,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“The cost of rebuilding and maintaining the Gisborne rail line is a tiny fraction of what the Government is currently spending on building new motorways and maintaining roads.

"Kiwirail is saying the line is not "commercially-viable", but there are businesses who desperately want to use the line. There has been no analysis of the significant long term benefits to the road network.

“This is another example of this government's backward economics -- they pour billions into uneconomic motorways but neglect critical infrastructure that is essential to a resilient economy.

“Moving significant volumes of freight onto the road is dangerous for other road users and bad for the environment.

“Putting more and larger trucks, especially logging trucks, on our worn down rural roads is a recipe for disaster.

“Rail should be viewed as a critical part of our transport infrastructure, especially for transporting freight.

“Moving goods from rail to roads is not a smart move if we want to build a greener and safer transport infrastructure.

“Building a comprehensive rail network to move freight is part of a smart solution to our regional transport needs. KiwiRail has turned its back on developing such an option.”

I

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