Phil Twyford has squandered a golden opportunity to turn his humiliating Auckland light rail backdown into a positive by redirecting funds towards the roading projects Kiwis are crying out for, National’s transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“The Manawatū Gorge replacement is a no-brainer, but that alone won’t save New Zealand from falling off the infrastructure cliff the Transport Minister has pushed us to the edge of.
“Now that the Auckland light rail project won’t have spades in the ground until 2021, there’s $774 million in unspent funds that should be redirected towards any of a dozen big highway projects this Government has either scrapped or stalled.
“But instead, the Minister has sprinkled some cash on bridge upgrades and public transport improvements. These projects won’t be the infrastructure game-changer this country needs.
“New Zealanders can’t trust Labour on transport. It has milked $1.7 billion from motorists through fuel tax hikes and extra GST, and has given them no new infrastructure in return.
“Over the next decade, $5 billion less will be available to build the safer, high-quality highways this country desperately needs.
“National will rebalance the transport budget if elected in 2020, providing a wider variety of infrastructure that allows all Kiwis to get around the country quickly and safely.”