Continuing issues with Wellington’s public transport system, including driver shortages and service cut backs, demand a genuine response from central Government, local National Party Wellington-based MPs say.
Associate Transport spokesperson Brett Hudson, MP for Hutt South Chris Bishop and National List MP based in Wellington Nicola Willis, are calling for the Government to appoint a Crown Observer to help to resolve the long running bus services issues across Wellington.
“The Regional Council is responsible for the delivery of public transport, but their ‘big bang’ reform of the bus system has blown up in the faces of the very Wellingtonians who rely on that system, compromising their work, their lives and undermining confidence in the services,” Mr Hudson says.
“The Regional Council is responsible for creating this situation and has had eight months to fix it. On Friday I met with representatives of the Council to seek assurances about these matters. I left that meeting even more convinced that the Council needs help,” Ms Willis says.
“The Government can no longer ignore these issues, it must act in the interests of Wellington bus users and urgently appoint a Crown Observer to help the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) sort this out.
“A Crown Observer would have the power to assist the GWRC to resolve these problems, to monitor progress and to make recommendations to the Government about further action that may be needed.
“Ministers must not continue to look the other way while bus users continue to be left in the lurch,” Ms Willis says.
“Transport Minister Phil Twyford declined to get involved when the Wellington bus service problems emerged last year. Every day he has delayed action, people in the Hutt Valley have equally been affected,” Mr Bishop says.
“It’s simply not good enough for central Government to sit on its hands and allow people across our city and region to be impacted by poor decisions by Regional Council,” Mr Bishop says.
“Taxpayers up and down the country pay petrol taxes that are used to fund public transport systems like Wellington’s and they deserve to know that their taxes are being spent wisely,” Mr Hudson says.
“While the Government is happy to be hands on, tinkering to try to make unviable light rail systems seem otherwise, it’s all care and no responsibility when it comes to the services taxpayers are actually funding.
“Wellingtonians, New Zealanders, deserve better,” Mr Hudson says.