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Light Rail Solution for Wellington

Light Rail Solution for Wellington

Reports that Wellington is joining Auckland in seeking new legislation to allow for congestion charging, demonstrates that much more needs to be done by the government to provide viable alternatives to the car, says New Zealand First Transport Spokesperson Denis O’Rourke.

“An additional 12,000 cars from the Transmission Gully motorway and other road improvements will cause even more congestion in central Wellington, which cannot be avoided with hopelessly unsustainable projects such as the Basin Reserve Flyover.

“The government needs to act and act now. It is time it abandoned its 1960’s style transport plans and looked at what has worked overseas. The government needs to take a long, hard look at the benefits light rail would bring on routes with high user potential.

“These efficient modern vehicles typically carry 10 times more people than buses, and are complementary to the urban environment, while freeing up more road space for cars. Powered by electricity, this form of transport also reduces reliance on fossil fuels, thus lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

“Investment in light rail systems is too costly for most councils to undertake and they need to be undertaken strategically on a nationwide basis, with government investment on a 75% (government) and 25% (council) basis.

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“Wellington has the best passenger rail services in New Zealand, but now needs a complementary light rail system for high demand routes, to provide a fast convenient, high capacity public transport alternative, which road hungry cars and buses cannot match.

“A ferry line from the Interislander ferry terminal to the Wellington CBD, and an airport line from the CBD would be a good start,” says Mr O’Rourke.


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