Jan 30, 2014

Research highlights Abbott’s folly

THE folly of Tony Abbott’s refusal to invest in public transport has been underlined by new research that finds investing in urban passenger rail would be the most cost-effective way to ease traffic congestion in Brisbane and Perth.

A study released today by the Australasian Railway Association finds that investing in passenger rail to attack congestion in Brisbane would be 57 per cent cheaper than investing in roads.

The study finds that for Perth, a rail solution would be 38 per cent cheaper than building more roads.

Labor believes in a properly integrated transport system incorporating all modes of transport – roads, railways, light rail and ferries.

But Mr Abbott refuses to invest a cent into urban rail and will fund only roads.

He has already axed fully funded Labor investments in Brisbane’s Cross River Rail Link and the Melbourne Metro – decisions that will worsen traffic gridlock and inhibit economic and jobs growth in these cities.

It’s time Mr Abbott got over his senseless antipathy toward public transport and showed some leadership.

A forward-looking, holistic approach to urban transport will make life easier for residents while also boosting urban efficiency.

If Mr Abbott is serious about lifting economic growth and creating jobs, he must understand that transport – in all its forms – is a critical driver of economic productivity.

However, he seems more interested in attacking the ABC than he is in addressing issues that really matter to Australians, like public transport, health and education.

NOTE: A link to the Australasian Railways Association research can be found at: http://bit.ly/1b8NLEy