Whopping 86pc favour restoring Gisborne rail link
An overwhelming majority of voters in this week's Herald web poll supported the reinstatement of the rail line to Gisborne for rail services.
Over 86 percent (357 votes) of the respondents voted “yes” to supporting the reinstatement.
That left 12 percent (49 votes) voting “no” and 2 percent (seven votes) in the “don't know” field.
The webpoll attracted a total of 413 respondents.
Many of the supporters shared their opinions on the topic.
“Yes, absolutely,” said one enthusiast. “More employment made available, keeps trucks off roads making it safer and stops wrecking our roads, a big morale booster. Could we please have a passenger service to Wairoa and Hastings, Napier.”
Another said if Gisborne was to go ahead in business and tourism for the future, “the rail is a necessity. It should nave been repaired ages ago”.
Another in favour said far less CO2 was produced to transport each tonne by rail than by road. “If local and national Government are sincere about global warming, it's a no-brainer.”
That was also the phrase used by a “yes” voter “It's a no-brainer. Logs could be railed from inland port to the port therefore keeping the trucks off city roads.”
Another said “just get it done so we can build up our new business options”.
“Reinstatement of the rail is vital to build a diverse and sustainable economy for our region,” said a “yes” voter. “We need to move goods cheaply, in bulk and with low carbon emissions. Rail does all of these.”
“It's time, no matter what KiwiRail says,” another supporter said.
Other supporting comments were:
'“Better for both the environment, the roads and motorists, as well as making economic sense.
'“It would seem to be a waste of a very valuable asset to not use it.”
'“I totally support reinstatement of our rail line. Firstly, it has huge environmental advantages. Secondly, trucks destroy roads fast and cost much more than is given. It is possible to plan for rail transport of vehicles around NZ — many other countries have that technology.”
'“I used to really enjoy this train ride from Wellington to Gisborne when I was a teenager. I've always wondered why it was stopped in the first place. Bring it back and make it a modern tourist route and get the buses off the road as the train will be far more comfortable and more scenic too as it meanders the coastline.”
'“No brainer in the bigger picture with the conditions of our roads. Do I recall an election promise on this? Seems to be happening up North.
'“Never trust anti-railers. They have loco- motives,” a light-hearted supporter said.
On the no side of the rail line one voter said “there has been no indication that it would be a viable financial operation. If logs went by train to Napier, what will that do to the viability of Gisborne's port?”
In the “I don't know” camp one voter said “I would like to see its feasibility compared to coastal shipping and alternative use of the rail corridor by Gisborne Railbike Adventures. Why not put all the options on the table and work out the best fit for the region?”