Poll shows most kiwis disagree with big spending on roads | WWF New Zealand

Poll shows most kiwis disagree with big spending on roads

Posted on
15 November 2011
A national Colmar Brunton public opinion poll released today shows seven out of ten New Zealanders want to see more Government money going to fund public transport improvements in major towns and cities. Only 1 percent of total land transport spending is allocated to new and improved public transport.

In Auckland the rate is even higher with 78 percent of people in agreement that the government should spend a greater percentage of its Land Transport Budget on improved public transport infrastructure in major urban areas or cities over the next decade.

“The Roads of National Significance and other roading projects are currently gobbling the lion’s share of government transport money, when what New Zealanders want is more investment to make public transport in cities better,” says WWF-New Zealand Climate and Energy Advocate Lee Barry.

“The futility of building more roads is not lost on Kiwis – they know fuel prices will rise and new roads will not help them.”

WWF analysis of National, Labour and Green Party election policies on transport shows the Green and Labour Parties are more closely aligned with the wishes New Zealanders have expressed in this poll. “For example, Aucklanders have made it clear time and time again they want urgent solutions to congestion and better public transport. The Green Party recently committed to funding 60% of Auckland’s proposed city rail loop, and Labour said they would foot half of the bill, while National have promised only to evaluate whether the rail loop is worth it,” said Ms Barry.

The poll showed that even among those who don’t live in cities, the majority - 65 percent – still agree that more money should be spent on pubic transport in cities and major urban areas.

Ms Barry said; “We tend to think of ourselves as a rural country, but three quarters of New Zealand’s population live in urban areas. By investing now to improve low cost, efficient modes of transport for the majority we’ll be in a better position to cut emissions from transport and save on our individual fuel costs. Instead $12 billion is going towards building roads the majority doesn’t want.”

WWF-New Zealand's pre-election policy recommendations on transport call on all parties to increase investment in public transport options compared to investment in new roads, introduce vehicle fuel economy standards to make our car fleet more efficient, and support an expanded scheme to develop homegrown sustainable bio fuels.

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