Calling a spade a spade

News.com.au reports:

HEY you! Latte-sipping hipster of Newtown or Fitzroy. You’re worse for the environment than a fleet of trucks.

Look at you, sitting there in your wholefood cafe, munching on your kale salad (yum!) and whingeing about why your city can’t be a freewheeling bicycle utopia like Paris. You just don’t get it.

This is the entirely unflattering view NSW’s Roads Minister Duncan Gay takes of Australia’s inner-city residents, as he rails against (or, should that be “roads” against?) their extremist pro-train agenda. …

He used a forum on freight in Sydney yesterday to slam Australia’s “anti-road zealots”. (Stack hats on, hipsters, coz you’re about to cop it from Mr Gay.)

“I’m increasingly concerned by the vocal anti-road movement in Sydney and elsewhere which revere dogma over reality,” he said.

“They conveniently forget that thousands of commuters each day need to drive to rail and bus stations, ferry wharves, hospitals, schools, shopping centres and sporting grounds.

“They forget their groceries, whitegoods, furniture and mail are delivered by road. I’m yet to see a freight train back into a shop in Newtown or someone hitch a ride on a tram with their newly purchased 400L fridge from Harvey Norman.

It’s a good point.

I enjoy walking and cycling when I can. I am a regular bus user, and enjoy train travel. But these are complementary methods of travel to roads, not substitutes. There are times when nothing but a car is practical.

I’m in favour of investment in cycleways, dedicated bus lanes, and even the Auckland City Rail Loop. But my observation is that many of the champions for these things are not doing it because they are pro-rail or pro-cycling but simply because they hate roads and cars.

I want a Government that invests in all forms of transport which are economically viable, not just the ones someone personally approves of.

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