After nine years without a single train strike, unions are clearly feeling emboldened by the new Government with their fourth major train strike in the four months since Labour took office, National’s Transport spokesperson Judith Collins says.
“Public transport has not been this unreliable since the 1970s. Aucklanders have had to deal with massive gridlock this week as the latest train strike forces thousands of rail commuters onto the already-congested roads.
“The National Government had plans for a number of new roads in Auckland to ease congestion but instead of committing to these plans, the Transport Minister Phil Twyford has put them under review and wants to spend millions of dollars on light rail in Auckland.
“But what will be the point of having more rail if the trains aren’t even going because the workers are all on strike?
“Frustrated Aucklanders have been asking for new roads, including an alternative to the East-West Link. While Mr Twyford keeps saying a plan for an alternative is coming, we’re yet to see anything.
“More immediately, Mr Twyford needs to ensure that Aucklanders are getting the public transport services they pay for. Without a reliable service, commuters will quite rightly get frustrated and seek an alternative.
“Congestion is costing business around $2 billion a year in lost productivity and it’s only being made worse by this week’s train strikes which won’t be the last.
"Mr Twyford needs to get his head out of the sand and commit to the roading projects planned by the previous Government so that New Zealanders can continue to get ahead.”