Northland Rail Must Stay Open

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The Campaign for Better Transport is calling for the Northland rail network to remain open in the long term, in the wake of Kiwirail’s decision to suspend all freight services north of Auckland.

Kiwirail’s announcement means that up to 200 truck movements a day of milk powder and logs will be added to the roading network north of Auckland.

“We need to bear in mind the line carries both dairy and forestry products and most road users are well aware of the dangers logging trucks pose. By adding an additional 200 or more trucks daily on Northland’s roads there is a higher risk of accidents causing death or severe injury to innocent road users,” campaign spokesperson Jon Reeves said.

The Campaign for Better Transport is concerned that the suspension of services could become permanent. However, Mr Reeves said that now would be the perfect opportunity to carry out needed maintenance of the line, in time for the resumption of freight services.

“We need to keep the Northland network open for the benefit of freight and road users. If central Government was not spending so much on the $800m Puhoi to Warkworth toll road, there would be money to do this,” said Mr Reeves.

The Campaign for Better Transport proposed “Operation Lifesaver” in 2010 as a more cost effective option to address safety issues between Puhoi and Wellsford.

 

More Bus Lanes For Fanshawe Street

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Campaign for Better Transport spokesperson Cameron Pitches today welcomed the announcement of additional bus lanes for Fanshawe Street.

“This will come as a relief to North Shore bus commuters, who regularly find themselves stuck in general traffic during the evening rush hour,” said Mr Pitches.

Last month Luke Christensen posted a plan for a westbound bus lane on Fanshawe Street on the popular blog transportblog.co.nz.

His plan to create a continuous bus lane from Britomart to the Harbour Bridge on-ramp was endorsed by the Campaign for Better Transport, and caught the eye of Auckland Transport Chair Dr Lester Levy.

Dr Levy directed officials to examine the plan and today announced that they had “reviewed their programme and concluded that there would be value in doing the Fanshawe Street westbound bus lane improvements as soon as practicable. Once the planning regulatory processes have been resolved it is possible that we could have a solution in place within three months.”

Mr Pitches said the proposal was a good example of the “low hanging fruit” that exists for public transport investment in Auckland.

“It is great that Dr Levy is listening to regular commuters and has fast-tracked the idea.  These additional lanes can be created for a relatively low cost, yet bring significant benefits for North Shore commuters. “


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