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Call For Urgent Action On Eastern Highway

MEDIA RELEASE
December 18, 2000

MANUKAU MAYOR CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION ON EASTERN HIGHWAY


Manukau City Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says it is time to get the Eastern Highway route underway as soon as possible in order to ease growing congestion and driver frustration in the area.

The Eastern Highway would provide a high speed route from Panmure through Glen Innes to the Orakei Basin, allowing drivers fast access to and from the port in downtown Auckland.

Currently the route is not given priority in the region’s transport plans.

“The Eastern Highway must be built. It is an essential part of the region's roading network and will make a huge difference to people who need to move quickly between Howick, Pakuranga and the eastern suburbs and Auckland
City," Sir Barry said.

“But the route must contain a central strip of land set aside as an exclusive lane for public transport, whatever option is eventually chosen.

“I support better public transport, and we are doing our best to get improved bus and rail options. But we must accept that new major arterial roads are also required for the many people who still need or choose to use their car, and for heavy industrial traffic to use.

“At present, trucks are impacting severely on residential streets, creating pollution and causing unnecessary traffic hazards.

“With our rapidly growing population we must encourage more people to use buses and trains, but there is equal demand for a new highway from Panmure across the isthmus north through Glen Innes and then on to downtown Auckland.

“The advantages of building major new roads are clear, as Te Irirangi Drive has shown since it opened this year. Traffic moves faster, congestion is eased, delays are minimised and road safety is improved.

“The areas east of Panmure are growing fast, and every household has at least one car. There definitely must be more use of trains and buses to cope with continuing growth, but it is impractical to expect that people will stop using their cars altogether. It won’t happen. Our transport plans must accommodate that, and we must finish the regional roading network as a top priority,” Sir Barry said.

ENDS

for further information contact:
Gabrielle Hinton
Media Liaison
Phone: 2628900 x 802
Fax: 09 2625759
Email: ghinton@manukau.govt.nz


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