Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson David Parker.
“The Government needs to provide long term, secure funding so KiwiRail can plan for the future and not have to consider scrapping essential freight and ferry services.
“The KiwiRail review shows that unless the Government’s funding continues, the SOE is not viable and rail lines and ferries will shut down. This will be another blow to regions, business and tourist industries that rely on regular rail services. National is out of touch with the concerns of people and businesses in the regions.
“The problem is National funded the SOE through the sales of the electricity companies. That money has run out now. National needs to find a Plan B and develop secure funding for KiwiRail.
“KiwiRail and the rail network is a poor cousin to roads and trucking as they are not funded in the same way.
“The National Land Transport Fund will spend over $10 billion in the next four years. Some of that needs to go towards rail which avoids extra spending on roads caused by more trucks.
“It’s time for National to develop a long term solution,” says David Parker.