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Prevention better than cure warns City Council

7 April 2006

For Christchurch to avoid the same traffic congestion problems facing other New Zealand cities, it must receive funding now for planning and building key projects.

That was the strong message from a delegation of Councillors led by Councillor Bob Shearing to a Transit New Zealand (Transit) hearing today over reduced funding for Christchurch roading projects. The Council is united in its view that prevention is better than cure in providing a sustainable transport system for Christchurch into the future, he said.

Councillor Shearing told the hearing that Christchurch is on the edge of congestion and determined action now gives the city the opportunity not to end up like Auckland and Wellington.

"The proposed level of national funding allocated to Canterbury in Transit’s proposed annual forecast for its 10-year programme is completely unacceptable," Cr Shearing said.

"We are aware of the funding constraints facing Transit and agree too little funding is being provided. However, we do not believe that the programme proposed by Transit is making the best use of that funding."

The presentation, in support of the Council’s written submission, also highlighted:

  • The Transit focus on congestion did not give full weight to other objectives such as safety and other road-users
  • The need is now for a Southern Motorway, not in 2012-13, to ensure the economic development of the South Island
  • Concern at the reduction in the number of large projects proposed for Canterbury over the next 10 years from nine last year down to two
  • The need for consistency in programming to allow for integration and collaboration with local authority partners
  • Council’s commitment to a long-term sustainable transport system, evident by its transport provision in the Council’s draft Long Term Council Community Plan, needed to be matched by Transit
  • Council’s desire to work with Transit as a genuine partner to achieve such a transport system

Hearings are being held around the country by Transit before recommendations are made to the Transit Board and a final draft programme produced.

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