Mayor says rail line needs to stay open
Updated at 8:12 pm on 9 October 2012
Wairoa's mayor says the Napier to Gisborne rail line must be kept open for the sake of local businesses that need it to stay afloat.
KiwiRail bosses met with the Wairoa District Council on Tuesday to explain their decision to mothball the line after saying it was not worth repairing storm-damaged tracks.
It will cost $4 million to fix the northern section of the freight rail route.
Wairoa mayor Les Probert told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Tuesday he believes shutting the line is about more than just dollars and cents.
He says the council's bottom line is that it should stay open because the community needs it.
Mr Probert says one timber mill which uses the line could lose its business if it had to use the roading network instead.
The mayor says he will be sending a letter to the Government about why the rail line should stay open in the coming days.
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