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More emissions, more congestion, transport policy a disaster – Julie Anne Genter

The Government’s policy statement on transport is a climate change-fuelling, congestion creating disaster. It will not work.

“More time stuck in traffic and more emissions. That’s it. That’s the Government’s big idea for transport in this country. It’s pathetic,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for transport, Julie Anne Genter.

“Simeon Brown is obsessed with forcing people into their cars and taking away the option of catching fast, reliable buses or trains.

“It will condemn kids to being stuck in the back of cars rather than having the freedom to get around their neighbourhoods and to school by walking or biking.

“National obsessively referred to the five countries with the “best roads” throughout the campaign. But all of those countries got there by doing the opposite of what this Government is proposing: they made it easier and more convenient for most people in urban areas to get around without having to use a car.

“Making it more expensive to get around by bus or train, while simultaneously cutting back on public transport investment and investment in safe walking and cycling will impact us all, but it will hurt those on low incomes the most.

“People living on low incomes already have to spend a far higher share of their income on transport. Forcing them to own and operate a car to get around, or to pay more for public transport, is not going to reduce cost of living.

“All we’re going to get from the same failed approach is more congestion, carbon emissions and high transport costs for New Zealanders.

“It is also ridiculous to be talking about pothole prevention at the same time as promoting a policy that is only going to make the problem worse. If you genuinely want fewer potholes, then invest in public transport so there are fewer cars on the roads.

“We can in Aotearoa have a transport system that makes it easier for people to get around while protecting the climate. That makes our cities nicer places to live. That gives people real choices other than being stuck in a car – in traffic. The Greens will keep fighting for a better future for our kids – and a better transport system now,” says Julie Anne Genter.