Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Govt's 'unbalanced' transport spending criticised

Sue Moroney is absolutely correct to ask the Waikato Regional Transport Committee to support its own policy and ‘fight’ for a balanced approach to transport funding.

The massively increased Government expenditure on state highways, coupled with reduced spending on public transport, cycling and walking and even kid’s road safety education, provides an unbalanced transport solution, will inevitably lead to big increases in costs for Hamilton ratepayers in future years, as more roads and less alternatives breed more calls for more roads, etc.

Yes, it’s been good to see the Expressway completion in sight, but it becomes less good when every other transport jam jar is being raided simply to give Waikato residents a 10-minute quicker trip to meet Auckland’s gridlock.

Those telling forward-thinking people to shut up about buses, trains & cycles “otherwise the Expressway might be in jeopardy” had better brush up arguments to use against those caught in traffic jams in Hamilton East, made worse by the fact there is no subsidy available to fund extra Orbiter buses, meaning kids left behind by overfull buses and parents choosing to add their cars to the traffic chaos because there is no other way to get little Johnny to school.

The Chair of the Regional Transport Committee, Norm Barker, needs to realise that the Waikato is definitely NOT UNITED in support of the Govt's cutbacks in all transport spending other than the Expressway - his job is to advocate for the interests of ALL Waikato residents and communities - so far, Hamilton's transport needs in most areas have not received the support they deserve!

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