The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding is well worth a read. Only 32 pages.
It sets out long-term funding for both road and rail. Predictably the Greens (and sadly Labour also) have criticised it because they hate roads. The Greens do not accept that one needs both roads and public transport. They think it is a choice, rather than being complementary. I guess in their ideal world roads would be so congested and unsafe that no one would use them, and hence save the planet.
Their reaction to the policy statement would have you think Steven Joyce is scrapping all public transport funding. Instead the true situation is:
- increasing the funding available for new and improved State highways by $125 million for the first 3 years
- increasing the funding available for public transport services by $140 million for the first 3 years
So of the new funding, 47% goes into state highways and 53% into public transport. Truly the Greens won’t be happy until it is $0 for highways.
Just out of the National Land Transport Fund (petrol tax, road user charges, vehicle registration and licensing fees), public transport will receive between $750m and $1.1b in the next three years. Also up to $90m for dedicated walking and cycling programmes.
But that just the public transport funding from the NLTF. The Government has directly invested $2b into Auckland and Wellington rail.
So it is amusing to hear Labour and Greens call Steven anti-public transport. I think he has provided more funding for it than any other Minister. The Greens just seem to hate the fact that any money goes on highways, as that are by definition evil.