Joyce: Greens need to get perspective on public transport
26th Mar 09, 5:42pm
Dr Russel Norman: Does the Minister agree with former Minister of Transport the Hon Maurice Williamson, who said ... its also important to realise that throwing dollars at the problem of roads is not the answer. Experience in the United Kingdom, the United States and Auckland shows us this. Building more and more roads in congested areas on many occasions results in more congestion"”more traffic jams, more time and money wasted and more pollution. If he does not agree with Mr Williamson, where is the evidence he has to show that Mr Williamson was wrong? Hon STEVEN JOYCE: The member does not seem to understand that there is no argument at all on this side of the House that a multimodal passenger solution for Auckland is what is required. There is a need for roads because, at the end of the day, 84 percent of New Zealanders travel to and from work each day via the road, but there is also a need for public transport, particularly in our larger cities. Dr Russel Norman: Has the Minister not seen the numbers with regard to the ways that people travel to work, including the dramatic increase in the number of Aucklanders catching the train, which was up by 18 percent in 2008, and the number of Aucklanders catching the bus, which was up by 7 percent in 2008"”proving that Aucklanders would choose to use public transport if this Government, which will become a Government of gridlock if the Minister does not take action, would allow the Auckland Regional Transport Authority to get on and build the public transport we need? Hon STEVEN JOYCE: As I said before, we do support passenger transport in Auckland, but we need to keep some sense of perspective. The number of passengers travelling to and from work by public transport in Auckland has been around 6 percent, and it is moving steadily towards 8 percent. Therefore, we have to still invest in other modes to get people to and from work safely.