Post­card cam­paign starts

Central Leader - - News -

A cam­paign aimed at high­light­ing un­cer­tainty around pub­lic trans­port projects in Auck­land has started.

Launched at the Mt Al­bert rail­way sta­tion by the Cam­paign for Bet­ter Trans­port, Action Sta­tions seeks to gain as­sur­ance from cen­tral gov­ern­ment that a range of trans­port ini­tia­tives will go ahead de­spite the with­drawal of the re­gional fuel tax.

In­te­grated tick­et­ing, new sta­tions, ferry ter­mi­nals, One­hunga rail and elec­tric trains are some of the is­sues the group is con­cerned about.

Cam­paign or­gan­iser Dr Fran­cis Reid en­cour­ages the pub­lic to take part in the cam­paign by send­ing key trans­port de­ci­sion-mak­ers a post­card.

“Th­ese projects need to be com­pleted. The gov­ern­ment-ap­pointed Auck­land Coun­cil tran­si­tion agency is threat­en­ing to de­lay all of th­ese projects even fur­ther,” says Dr Reid.

The group says the Auck­land Re- gional Trans­port Agency, which over­sees pub­lic trans­port im­prove­ments, has now been forced by cen­tral gov­ern­ment to ap­ply for fund­ing from the New Zealand Trans­port Agency for rail­way sta­tions in One­hunga and other projects.

Tracks on the One­hunga branch line have now been re­placed, but the lo­ca­tion of passenger rail sta­tions and how they are to be funded is still to be de­ter­mined.

Cam­paign con­vener Cameron Pitches says the with­drawal of $200 mil­lion worth of fund­ing through the re­gional fuel tax has left a gap­ing hole in Auck­land pub­lic trans­port fund­ing.

He says news that the gov­ern­ment will slash up to $250m from pub­lic trans­port in­fra­struc­ture spending over the next three years in or­der to boost ex­pen­di­ture on new state high­ways, is deeply de­press­ing.

The post­cards can be down­loaded from www.bet­ter­trans­port.org.nz.

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