Wellington Scoop

Climate change and health ignored in LGWM scenarios

Press Release – Congestion Free Wellington
The Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) project has released papers from its work on developing and evaluating possible future transport scenarios.

Congestion-Free Wellington (CFW) welcomes the release of this information.

John Rankin, a spokesman for Congestion Free Wellington, says it’s easier to engage with people when you understand how they have reached the conclusions they are presenting.

But CFW notes that the information released is most interesting for what it doesn’t say.

“There is no mention at all of climate change; it’s business as usual transport planning,” says Rankin.

New Zealand is a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement, so we might expect scenario assessment to have considered the impact on future greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

“What comes out of LGWM will shape Wellington transport’s greenhouse gas profile for a generation,” Rankin said. “There is also no mention of the scenarios’ impacts on people’s health. “People who walk and cycle live longer, healthier lives. “Emissions from burning fossil fuels, especially diesel, cause physical harm and our health system picks up the cost.”

“It’s time we stopped externalising the costs of our transport decisions,” says Rankin.

The papers also show that the LGWM team believes urban motorways and cars are enablers of economic growth. “We would like to see the evidence on which this conclusion is based,” Rankin says.

Congestion destroys the quality of urban life.

High quality, clean public transport, like light rail, and safe walking and cycling, encourage people to leave their cars at home, promote urban regeneration, and make cities better, more productive places to live.

“This is good for the economy, good for the environment, and good for everyone,” said Rankin.

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1 comment:

  1. Keith Flinders, 21. June 2017, 17:06

    Rather ironic that whilst the WCC is encouraging the greater use of bicycles, the GWRC is introducing more diesel buses into our city that will impact on the health of cyclists, walkers, and especially those who frequently traverse the Golden mile.

    Wellington needs to do its share towards reducing emissions too, not stand back and ignore the problem. Any 100% pollution free bus removed from the fleet needs to be replaced with like.