Labour’s transport policy will create an integrated, 21st century transport system to move people and freight around New Zealand. As a priority we will act to immediately stop work on National’s plan to de-electrify the North Island Main Trunk Line, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.
“Today I have written to the KiwiRail CEO to provide fair notice that if elected, a Labour Government will issue a clear letter of expectation to cease work on de-electrification. This is a major strategic issue for New Zealand and Labour will not allow this backwards step to proceed. Diesel trains will spew out five times the greenhouse gas emissions of the existing electric rail operation.
“This policy is just one part of Labour’s plan to get New Zealand moving. We need a modern transport system to make our country even better after nine years of transport under-investment and misinvestment under National.
“Alongside our earlier commitment to modern light rail to Auckland airport and commuter rail in Christchurch, we announced yesterday that we will create a rapid rail network linking Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
“Labour will also re-open mothballed railway lines like the Napier – Gisborne line if there is evidence that they are sustainable. We will also investigate a spur line to Marsden Point and the upgrading of the North Auckland Main Trunk line.
“With a road toll that is set to increase for the fourth successive year we also need decisive action to save lives on our roads. That’s why we have also announced a Regional Roads policy that will double the funding range for these roads from $70 million-$140 million to $140-$280 million. This will allow central and local government to work together to make our roads safer.
“Labour’s transport policy will be evidence based. We will make sure that investments from the National Land Transport Fund are mode neutral, meaning that good projects that stack up will be funded, whether road, rail, or walk/cycle.
“Labour’s modern, integrated transport system will move people and freight, connect our communities, and support growth in our cities and regions. Let’s do this," says Michael Wood.