Transport lobby group the Campaign for Better Transport has launched a petition calling on the Government to support a commuter train service between Hamilton and Auckland.
“We have become increasingly frustrated at the stonewalling coming from central Government and related transport agencies.” says Jon Reeves, spokesperson for the “Waikato Trains Now” campaign.
The Campaign for Better Transport recently organised a postcard campaign which involved sending thousands of postcards to selected members of Parliament.
However, in response to the postcards, Government MPs claimed the best approach for commuters will be to drive to the outskirts of Auckland on the planned $2bn Waikato Expressway and from there use “park and ride alternatives to get to the city”.
The Waikato Expressway is forecast to be complete in ten years time and will save ten minutes from current journey times.
Mr Reeves says that such responses have prompted the need for the petition.
“The public’s view on the best approach is very different. Over 80% of Hamilton ratepayers showing their support for the services in a recent Hamilton City Council survey, even if a small rate increase is required to run the trains.”
“Our hope is that the petition we’ve launched today will finally open the Government’s eyes to what the public really wants.”
Petition forms can be downloaded from here.
A major public meeting has also been organised in Hamilton Tuesday the 1st of December. Local MPs are to speak at the meeting, including some who support and some who oppose the proposed services.
“We have read a lot of misleading information from MPs who are against the rail service and we believe it is fair to invite them to the meeting, so they can tell Waikato residents directly why they do not support Waikato Commuter rail. The public will also be given the opportunity to ask questions of all the speakers at the meeting”, Reeves said.
PUBLIC MEETING: WHERE’S THE TRAIN NOW?
- 1st December, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
- Hamilton City Council Meeting Room
- (Lefthand Side) Garden Place
- Hamilton Central
Speakers invited to the public meeting include:
- MP Sue Moroney
- MP David Bennett (Hamilton East )
- MP Tim MacIndoe (Hamilton West)
- MP Keith Locke
- Cr. David MacPhearson, Hamilton City Council
- Cr. Norm Barker, EW Chair of the Transport Committee
- Cr. Mike Lee, Auckland Regional Council Chairperson
- Brian Roche, NZ Transport Agency Chairperson
- Jon Reeves and Cameron Pitches (Convenor), Campaign For Better Transport
For futher information, please contact Jon Reeves 021 535 295