50 signatures reached
To: NZ PM Bill English & Kiwirail CEO Peter Reidy.
Save our regional NZ rail
CITIZENS ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY CENTRE Est' 2001
EAST COAST TRANSPORTATION PROJECT
Petition to NZ PM Bill English & Kiwirail CEO Peter Reidy.
Subject; Restore regional rail freight & passenger services.
On behalf of our NZ communities we request the following;
Since 2000 our studies have concluded that far to many people have been killed by heavy trucks on our N.Z. narrow winding roads, so rail must now be used to move the balance of freight now increasing un-checked & we advocate to you to restore our regional rail services to save lives & health of residential communities.
As Central Government we submit you must now adopt as rail policy similar to the N.Z. Rail Strategy 2004 that National Government has now scrapped.
More deaths are dramatically occurring now attributed to the massive truck traffic expansion averaging 6% increase annually (twice that of the 3% of other road users) every year over year in the last decade.Cyclists and other road user’s lives could have been saved.
Simply by a plan to move more freight back to rail, as present less than 6% is carried by rail.
This is compared to (HGV’s) road freight vehicles now move a dramatic unbalanced share of 92% of Land transport freight.
These are tangible reasons for the Government to adopt a more balanced rail/road modality land transport policy, rather than relying on only a failed Kiwirail 10yr “turnaround plan” which is instead of encouraging rail freight, is embarking on a clear policy of closing down provincial rail freight and moving former customers’ freight back to road.
The N.Z. Rail Strategy adopted by Government in 2004 was a good example of what is urgently now required to reverse this unbanced massive 60% increase in road freight while witnessing a 50% reduction in rail freight over the last decade.
We urge you to now regard these issues as a valid reason for funding the repair and reopening of our regional rail along with the Napier Gisborne rail services for freight & passenger services.
Why is this important?
Rail is important to reduce residential suburban community public health & safety issues.
Residential suburban communities located close to truck routes all over N.Z. especially in export producing regions, and large cities, are now in peril according to latest (WHO) World Health studies.
These residential communities near heavy road traffic routes, have been linked heart disease and many other medical damages to the increasing exposure to heavy freight truck noise, vibration, & air quality degradation from truck tyre/diesel particulate pollution.
One truck produces 100 times more than one car in air pollution. Source – several studies including U.S. & N.Z. studies. (NIWA)
Recent UK studies have concluded that those communities living within 300 metres of busy roads will suffer increased cases of dementia.
Previously, scientists have linked air pollution and traffic noise to reduced density of white matter (the brain’s connective tissue) and lower cognition. A recent study suggested that magnetic nano-particles from air pollution can make their way into brain tissue.
The latest study, published in The Lancet, found that those who live closest to major traffic arteries were up to 12% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia – a small but significant increase in risk.
These public health damages to residential communities has also been confirmed by several other studies including a large N.Z. study produced in 2004 by the N.Z. Ministry of Transport showing 980 early deaths annually in N.Z. is attributed to vehicle air pollution alone.
This heavy traffic noise, vibration & pollution exposure to residential communities near truck routes, coupled with cyclists deaths caused by trucks must all be mitigated, and a N.Z. Rail Strategy must be produced to combat these premature deaths increasing due to our failing current Land Transport road freight policy.
Pollution Residential bad planning pollution hotspot.
For example Napier has now the N.Z. dubious title as among the largest volume of truck freight movements through a 12,000 populated residential community.
All 12 000 residents live within 300 meters of the busy truck route called H.B. Expressway.
With a daily average of almost 2 000 trucks a day.
Along with 23 000 other vehicles.
Also within 300 meters two residential city traffic corridors are situated.
Kennedy Road & Taradale Road who have a combined total of another 50 000 vehicles a day.
This residential pollution hot spot produced by bad planning, has generated a total of over 80 000 vehicles a day in a 300 meter radius.
Now this is a public health crisis, that was highlighted in a year long (PCE) study in 2003.
The report entitled “H.B. Expressway noise & air Quality issues 2004” is a report generated by the (PCE) Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, and amongst the 9 recommendations can be mitigated by a movement back to rail freight.
Gisborne also as similar residential communities exposed to 24/7 truck traffic pollution issues due to reliance on road based heavy haulage rather than rail freight from inland port facilities not established.
If the rail was re-established we see the health benefits are complimentary to providing safer roads for other users and cheaper freight for our export producers.
Please PM Bill English restore our regional rail freight & passenger/tourism service for the health and safety of our communities.