The Save the Basin Campaign says the news that there has been a dramatic drop in the number of Wellington teens getting their drivers’ licences backs up its stance that there is no need for the Government and the New Zealand Transport Agency to press ahead with plans for a Basin Reserve flyover.
“According to the report in today’s Sunday Star-Times, NZTA’s own figures show that the number of Wellington teens between 16 and 19 getting their drivers’ licences has fallen by over 50%, and up to 75%, between 2008 and 2013. This dramatic decline reflects a worldwide trend. It shows that teenagers have rejected the car culture and assumptions of endless traffic growth that drive NZTA’s and the Government’s planning for such projects as a Basin Reserve flyover.”
“These figures back up what Save the Basin has been saying all along,” Tim Jones said. “Not only would a flyover be ugly, disruptive, and put the future of the Basin Reserve at risk – it simply isn’t necessary. Young Wellingtonians are turning off driving because it costs too much, it’s unsafe, they don’t need to drive across town to communicate with their friends, and public transport provides good alternatives. So why build a massive flyover that won’t be needed?”
“Rather than wasting money on outmoded motorways and flyovers, we need to be investing in high-speed broadband on the one hand, and public transport on the other. But the Government is full of baby-boomers who grew up with cars on the brain, and it seems that NZTA’s transport planners share the same mentality.”
“It’s time for a change in transport thinking,” Tim Jones concluded. “It’s time to let go of the notion that New Zealanders are wedded to their cars, because that’s no longer what the evidence says. It’s time to abandon the 1960s transport thinking that says the answer is always a flyover or a motorway. It’s time to plan for the future, not the past.”
UPDATE: See TV One’s coverage of the issue: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/fewer-teens-apply-driver-licence-video-5855551
Save the Basin Campaign spokesperson
027 359 0293