8 Oct 2012

Lobby group aiming for review of rail closure

8:13 am on 8 October 2012

An East Coast rail lobby group is trying to raise $10,000 to have an independent review of KiwiRail's decision to close the Napier-Gisborne rail line.

KiwiRail says the storm-damaged line is not worth fixing because it wasn't making enough money when it was in operation.

But the Rail Action Group, made up of local councillors, business leaders and academics, thinks the Napier Gisborne line is viable and it wants to prove it.

Gisborne District councillor Manu Caddie says they want to hire the economic analysis company BERL to review KiwiRail's figures and conclusions.

"We think it makes sense to have some independent expert analysis. From our perspective that seems to be the best way to get the Government to have a rethink about it's position, if we can show that KiwiRail have maybe not assessed the figures accurately."

He says the group hopes to have the $10,000 raised by Tuesday.

Mr Caddie says East Coast businesses will suffer if the railway is shut down as it limits their options for freight.