Govt can and must fund rail fairly

The Green Party is calling for the government to fund rail infrastructure from the National Land Transport Fund, following statements by KiwiRail boss Peter Reidy that the government “hasn't really considered the rail freight challenge” in its 30 year planning for Auckland's transport system.

The Green Party is calling for the government to fund rail infrastructure from the National Land Transport Fund, following statements by KiwiRail boss Peter Reidy that the government “hasn't really considered the rail freight challenge” in its 30 year planning for Auckland's transport system.

 

KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy said today that freight on Auckland’s rail lines is clashing with passenger rail services. He described the Auckland transport network as at a "crunch point".

 

“Rail infrastructure is chronically underfunded because the Government doesn’t treat it as part of the land transport system. This has an easy fix, which would result in much better outcomes for transport, especially in Auckland,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

 

“The disjointed approach to transport funding means National is spending four times more on expanding Auckland’s motorways than on all of New Zealand’s rail network, although the economic and transport benefits of rail investment would far outweigh current spending.

 

“Improving Auckland’s rail would mean fewer big freight trucks on our main streets, dramatically improving congestion and making our roads safer.

 

“It’s ridiculous that the Government isn’t including rail in its 30 year plan for Auckland’s transport system. 

 

“The transport budget should go towards projects that move people and freight the fastest and reduce congestion – and that’s rail. Spending the money on motorways is wasteful because it won’t solve the problems in the medium term. Most likely it will make them worse.

  

“Peter Reidy is exactly right to say that "we can't build a way out of this" with bigger and bigger motorways. Now is the time for Government to fix transport funding," said Ms Genter.

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