Julie Anne Genter’s comments attacking some motorists as being “car fascists” are worrying remarks from a transport minister, National’s Transport spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
In a tweet about the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project release, the Associate Transport Minister said: “we need a few car fascists to stop opposing infrastructure that gives more people the option to walk, cycle or scoot safely if they wish”.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford also said his core objective was to get people out of cars, even going so far as to suggest roading improvements that ease congestion are a bad thing because they allow people to keep driving.
“These sorts of comments shows how out of touch they are with the transport needs of New Zealanders,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“The core objective of transport policy should be helping people get where they need to go quickly, efficiently and safely. The Government should be making people’s lives easier – not deliberately making life more difficult in pursuit of some ideological goal.
“Public transport is great for getting people with jobs in central cities to and from work. But many New Zealanders don’t work in city centres, and when it comes to things like taking their kids to sport on the weekend and getting the groceries, having congestion on the roads is not improving their welfare.
“Driving accounts for more than 95 per cent of the distance New Zealanders travel. Even in Wellington, our public transport capital, it is 88 per cent of travel distance.
“These people are not all ‘car fascists’ and the Minister should not be pitting them against people who favour other modes of travel.”