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UK push for double-decker buses in Auckland

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 18:40 14/07/2014
Auckland mayor Len Brown on a double-decker bus in 2013
TRANSPORT: Auckland Mayor Len Brown on a double-decker bus in 2013.
British Government's Trade and Investment Minister of state Lord Livingston
PETER MEECHAM/ Fairfax NZ
PRAISE: UK Trade and Investment Minister Lord Livingston was pleased to see Mini in NZ.

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The UK’s Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Livingston, says he hopes more British-made double-decker buses are destined for Auckland’s roads.

The House of Lords Conservative member is in New Zealand this week to promote British businesses’ involvement in road, rail, bus and airports.

Bus companies have been trialling double-decker buses in Auckland since March last year, but historic building verandas and trees on major arterial roads have posed challenges.

Livingston was speaking at the second-largest Mini dealership in the world - the Team McMillan Mini showroom in Newmarket which officially opens on July 25.

‘‘So that’s good, another great British success story,’’ Livingston said.

German car manufacturer BMW has owned Mini for 20 years.

Livingston said many single-deck British-made buses are already on New Zealand roads.

Double-decker buses were a sustainable and cost-efficient public transport option, he said.

‘‘It is one of the most carbon efficient modes of transport.

‘‘Auckland has these long bendy buses which are not easy to take around the road network. Double-decker buses work very well in many cities.’’

The idea of double-decker buses was well received when he spoke to Auckland transport interest groups yesterday, he said.

‘‘I hope they’ll look to that as an option. What is there not to like?’’

Livingston would have dinner with Auckland Council Mayor Len Brown tonight and travel to Christchurch tomorrow to turn the first soil at the Vodafone innovation centre.

‘‘That’s a very major investment in Christchurch and I think it’s a great sign of the Christchurch regeneration going on.’’

He then heads to the G20 meeting in Australia on Wednesday where the world’s top 20 economies will be gathering.

Livingston was appointed as minister in December last year.

Outside of politics Livingston was chief executive of British multinational telco BT Group from 2008 until 2013.

Before this he was finance director at consumer electronics retailer Dixons Group where he managed Britain’s first major internet sharemarket listing with internet service provider Freeserve

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