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Congestion shows rail, public transport must be priority

16 August 2013

Easing congestion shows rail, public transport must be priority

New figures from Auckland Transport show congestion is easing in the city as people drive less and use public transport more, meaning the National Government's billion dollar motorways should not be the priority, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

New figures from Auckland Transport show a substantial decline in congestion and rise in public transport use as petrol prices have risen in recent years. The report states: “the all day average congestion indicator shows that congestion for the entire network and the freight routes has been decreasing since 2009. The biggest decline in traffic congestion has been in the morning peak”. Ministry of Transport figures confirm that Aucklanders are driving 5 percent less per capita since 2006 while public transport boardings per capita in Auckland have increased 27 percent over the same period.

“National needs to explain why they want to waste billions of taxpayer dollars on low-value motorways when congestion is easing because of investment in public transport,” said Ms Genter.

“New Zealanders deserve to know that we’re getting the best value out of our transport tax dollars. We can build a congestion-free, low-carbon transport network by prioritising projects like the City Rail Link, extending rail to the North Shore, and improving bus networks.

“National has it backwards, pouring billions into low-value projects like Puhoi to Wellsford and Transmission Gully, which will not substantially reduce transport costs even for the few that use those routes regularly.

“Aucklanders want good alternatives to driving, especially as petrol prices rise. Experience shows us that when the alternatives are there Aucklanders will use them, and that means a more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly, and less congested transport system for all New Zealanders," said Ms Genter.

Additional information:

Agenda of the Auckland Council Transport Committee August 2013 meeting (item 14, pages 277-286)

Auckland vkt and pt figures

Auckland20022003200420052006200720082009201020112012change since peak driving
vehicle kilometres travelled per person8,2348,3218,3548,4518,5478,4908,5048,4038,3528,3108,147-4.7%
public transport boardings per person35.841.339.137.637.237.638.340.741.544.347.226.6%

Sources: 1, 2 ,3

ENDS

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