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Kiwis sitting in traffic on the way home from long weekend holidays will be disheartened to know congestion will only get worse under Labour, National’s Transport Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Radical changes to transport policy settings by the Labour Government has meant the cancellation or postponement of many important transport projects around the country, including roads jammed on holiday weekends like Otaki to North of Levin, the Tauranga Northern Link, Cambridge to Piarere and Warkworth to Whangarei.

“The Government has stripped $5 billion from state highways and directed the money to a slow tram down Dominion Road to Mangere, or alternatively, a monorail and underground system direct to the airport. It’s impossible to say which, because Phil Twyford hasn’t yet made up his mind as to what the objectives of his light rail project are.

“The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has also been directed not to prioritise travel time savings. NZTA’s former Chief Executive Fergus Gammie confirmed to MPs before Select Committee earlier this year that the current Government Policy Statement ‘doesn’t prioritise travel time savings, and that is quite a significant change.’

“An Official Information Act request released to National shows that last year officials warned Phil Twyford that ‘the revised direction… could mean that travel times increase, particularly in seasonal and holiday peaks.’

“Kiwi motorists paying through the nose for petrol thanks to Labour’s new fuel taxes and regional fuel tax in Auckland should be outraged their hard-earned money is going on a light rail project that has no business case, no route and no costings – while they sit in traffic trying to get home on roads that have no chance of being upgraded thanks to Labour.”

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