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Author Topic: 11 Aug 2011: Australia: The true value of rail is beyond doubt  (Read 1365 times)

Offline ozbob

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Media release 11th August 2011

Australia:  The true value of rail is beyond doubt

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers has applauded the release of the Australasian Railway Association's (ARA) 'True Value of Rail' Report (1) and calls on all levels of Government to accept that the country's 'love affair' with the motor vehicle is over.

The ARA study shows that:

    One passenger train takes 525 cars off the road. In one year, one train-load of passengers is equal to removing more than three million vehicle kilometres of traffic from our roads.
    One freight train in place of trucks between Melbourne and Brisbane reduces carbon emissions by the same amount as a household of three going without electricity for 46 years.
    One train-load of passengers travelling by rail instead of car for one year reduces accident costs by an amount that could fund 130 hospital visits, 505 hospital beds per day, or 6 doctors for one year.
    Road travel produces more than 40% more carbon pollution than rail travel per passenger kilometre.
    Road transport generates almost eight times the amount of accident costs as rail transport does.
    Heavy vehicle road freight users do not face the full maintenance costs that they cause. Under-recovery of these costs has been estimated at between $7,000 and $10,500 per truck each year (Productivity Commission 2006 and NTC 2006).

Robert Dow, Spokesperson for RAIL Back On Track said:

“Continuing to focus the significant majority of transport funding on road based solutions is simply economic suicide.  Our cities are chocking on traffic congestion;  our roads are killing almost 1600 people a year, costing at least forty billion dollars in road trauma costs and require subsidisation in the order of at least sixteen billion dollars; and we are in no way prepared for the inevitable rise in fuel costs.”

“Our nation has spent 40 years trying to out-build congestion with more and more roads and instead of fixing congestion, we have actually created today’s congestion woes.  For every 20% growth in population we are seeing a 100% increase in car usage.”

“It has also been estimated that in the 30 years to 2004, the Federal Government spent $58 billion on roads and only delivered more cars and trucks on the roads, peak hour traffic chaos, increased travel time and worsening air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (2).  It is important to note that State and Local Government invested even more taxes on roads and have contributed to the transport failure across our nation”.

“Australia is at a turning point in transport planning where as a nation we must choose to either stop investing in freeways and start fixing our transport problems or continue to place our economy at risk and leave a unmanageable transport legacy for our children.”

“So the next time a politician, road lobby group or Government agency says 'This new road will reduce congestion and improve our economy' the truth is it will be doing the exact opposite.”


1.   www.ara.net.au/site/publications_tvor.php
2.   www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/public-transport-should-be-priority-greens/story-e6freonf-1225896391290


Robert Dow
RAIL Back On Track http://backontrack.org
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 12:53:44 PM by ozbob »
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