22 Aug 2009

ARC chairman pushes Govt on electric train plan

5:57 am on 22 August 2009

The Government must focus on developing an electric train network in Auckland before an increase in fuel taxes makes driving more expensive, the Auckland Regional Council chairman says.

Mike Lee says Transport Minister Steven Joyce must make good on his promise to fill the funding gap, which he made when the Government cancelled regional fuel tax funding for electric trains six months ago.

Mr Lee says Aucklanders will soon be paying higher fuel taxes and road user charges and there is still no sign of electric trains.

The city needs modern mass transit rail system as soon as possible, he says, otherwise the huge investment made in motorways will be compromised by road congestion.

Aucklanders took 58.6 million trips on public transport in the year to the end of June, an increase of almost 8% on the previous year.

Mr Lee says Steven Joyce had committed to a plan by July.