Thursday, August 11, 2005

Breaking news:National NO to rail for Auckland

On Sky News TV Talkback show Williams upfront tonight, I asked National's transport spokesperson, former transport minister Maurice Williamson by email:
Are National's policies all pro-road or will it do anything for Auckland's passenger rail network, which is attracting more and more passengers but desperately in need of moderninising?

Asked by Larry Williams to confirm that he is anti-trains, Mr Williamson did adding:
" I think trains are terribly expensive. We have said we'll complete the projects currently underway - the double tracking in the West and so on. But if you try to show me the economics of any new (train) service, it doesn't stack up, the cost of building new rail. The only place public transport works -apart from Wellington - is with buses and buses work on something called roads. You have to build roads.
Also on the programme was current transport minister, Labour's Pete Hodgson
He said: "You can't use motorway-only to get yourself out of trouble. ..Even Los Angeles has started building trains."
But he made it clear that while the Greens could influence Labour's transport policy if the two were involved in a coalition after the forthcoming election, the Greens anti-motorway options would not be given the green light as you still had to have more motorways.

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