15 Jul 2012

Protest convoy backs commuter train service

3:17 pm on 15 July 2012

A protest convoy of about 50 vehicles drove into Waikanae on Sunday morning calling on the Government to retain the Capital Connection train service.

The commuter train between Palmerston North and Wellington, which carries 13,000 people a month, is losing about $500,000 a year.

KiwiRail says it will axe the service if can't stem the losses.

Two regional councils are willing to commit funding if the Transport Agency does the same, but the agency is refusing to do so on the basis there is no congestion problem north of Waikanae.

Palmerston North MP, Iain Lees-Galloway, who was in the convoy which started in Palmerston North, says the fact they caused general mayhem by clogging up the Waikanae train station and surrounding area on a Sunday illustrates why the Capital Connection must be kept.

He says the Government needs to direct the Transport Agency to fund the service.