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National’s motorways driving us to a more congested future

2 September 2013

National’s motorways driving us to a more congested future

A damning report confirms Green Party fears that National’s motorway obsession will increase congestion in Wellington and waste billions of dollars of public money, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

The Opus report shows that National’s multi-billion dollar motorway-building programme will increase congestion in Wellington by subsidising long-distance commuting by car and funnelling more traffic into chokepoints on the Urban Motorway. The motorways will reduce patronage of the existing public transport infrastructure and see more people driving. Daily petrol use will increase, costing the country millions of dollars in additional oil imports.

“National’s motorways will subsidise long-distance commuting by car, which means more congestion in Wellington, higher oil imports, and reduced use of public transport. It’s madness to spend billions of dollars of public money on projects that will make our transport network worse,” said Ms Genter.

"The latest research from around the world confirms that urban motorways make traffic worse. They don't make economic sense.

“The Transmission Gully project alone will see the public pay $15 for every vehicle that uses the new motorway. All that huge subsidy will do is encourage more commuter traffic, which will end up increasing congestion in and around the city. Traffic speeds will actually end up slower as a result of National’s motorways.

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“Pouring billions into uneconomic motorways will have the perverse outcome of reducing patronage of the existing public transport infrastructure. National’s basically spending several billion dollars to take commuters off the existing, congestion-free rail network and have them drive on congested motorways.

“The country’s oil bill will increase by millions of dollars as National’s motorways subsidise car travel and take people away from public transport. We already import $8 billion a year on oil. It’s crazy that National wants to increase that burden.

“The smart, green transport choice for Wellington is to invest in a balanced transport system. We can improve our existing roads and get better use out if the entire network by making it easier for more people to walk, cycle, or take high frequency buses and trains. This frees up the roads, and reduces our oil bill,” said Ms Genter.  

ENDS

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