INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greens Urge Government To Buy Back The Tracks

Published: Sat 29 Dec 2001 11:10 PM
Auckland Green MP, Keith Locke has welcomed the government's purchase of the Auckland rail corridor, but said today that the onus remains on the Government to buy back the whole New Zealand rail network.
"With negotiations over the transfer of Wellington's metro lines bogged down, it is evident that a piecemeal approach to returning the rails to public ownership is overly complicated and may be more costly in the long term," said Mr Locke, the Greens' Associate Transport spokesperson.
"Control of the whole network would ensure that currently threatened services, like the Gisborne-Napier line, would be maintained."
In Auckland, the challenge now is for the local bodies to build a modern, efficient passenger transport system.
"Both stations and carriages have been allowed to deteriorate badly under Tranz Rail's management," said Mr Locke. "There needs to be a drastic improvement in service to attract Aucklanders onto the trains.
"We applaud the Government's initial move, but urge it to get rolling on buying back all the tracks."
ENDS

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