Government to Cement in High Carbon Future

Published on 31/03/2023 at 1:00 pm.

Press release - The government's recent announcement of five high carbon options for the next harbour crossing has disappointed those concerned about climate change. TRAC (The Rail Advocacy Collective), a rail advocacy collective, opposes the short-sighted decision, citing the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and plan for the future. They argue that the proposed solutions, such as a short but highly carbonized route to Takapuna and a light rail project to the airport, are expensive and will not effectively address future population growth.

Chair of TRAC, Guy Wellwood, highlights the carbon-intensive nature of tunnel building and criticizes the government's green washing tactics. He urges them to consider low-carbon options such as building heavy rail toward Orewa in stages and constructing a new combined rail/road bridge to remove heavy vehicles from the current bridge. Wellwood argues that focusing on light rail and road solutions is a flawed approach, and that TRAC's solutions are both more efficient and environmentally friendly.

National coordinator Niall Robertson shares Wellwood's frustration with the government's short-term thinking and tribalism. He suggests linking heavy rail from Onehunga to Wiri via Mangere and to the North Shore and beyond are cheaper and greener options that would create more connectivity for commuters. Robertson calls on the government to recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and plan carefully for the future, rather than "kicking the can down the road."

In conclusion, TRAC opposes the government's high carbon options for the next harbour crossing and calls for a shift towards low-carbon solutions such as heavy rail and a combined rail/road bridge. They urge the government to prioritize long-term planning and consider the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. Wellwood says, “Continually banging on about light rail is this government’s version of green washing. However, our TRAC solutions save time, money and carbon”.

Press release dated 31 Mar 23. Authorized by Guy Wellwood Chair, The Railway Advocacy Collective (TRAC)

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