The Green Party welcomes the $6 billion being invested in public transport, walking and cycling through the National Land Transport Programme, as announced by the Minister of Transport today, however says it is nowhere near enough.
“It is great to see a greater emphasis on road maintenance and safety. It would be great to see transformational investment in public transport, walking and cycling,” says Green Party spokesperson for Transport Julie Anne Genter.
“However, this budget doesn’t do that. Public transport services get almost no increase in funding relative to previous years.
“We are fast running out of time to address the climate emergency, and right now we must be focused on investing in low-carbon transport options. Too much money is still going on expensive urban fringe motorways that will incentivise more car travel, increasing congestion and carbon emissions.
“These expensive motorways are becoming more expensive now with the inflation of construction costs eating up a lot of the increased funding.
“The Government says they are spending 75% more than the previous National government on transport, but it is not clear we are getting more for the spend. Many of the most costly road projects have doubled in price from a few years ago.
“Reprioritising investment into more affordable public transport fares would help people sooner without inflating the cost of infrastructure delivery, so we will continue to push our Government partner on this.
“Sustainable transport options are only 25% of the budget – if we are going to give people practical, climate-friendly options for getting around, the investment needs to be the majority of new spending.
“We need to go further and faster on climate action.”