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Unblock The Bypass, Says Chamber

23 February 2004

Unblock The Bypass, Says Chamber

“Suggestions this morning that the Wellington inner–city bypass could be dumped, because of new government criteria on roading, are totally unacceptable” said Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Philip Lewin

“We have to ask the Government whether they in fact intended this kind of delay to occur when they changed the rules to require a review of all projects.”

Mr Lewin was commenting in response to the Dominion Post’s revelation that, following a Transfund review late last year after the Government’s new Land Transport Strategy came into effect, the bypass is in danger of being sidelined in favour of a “do little or nothing” option.

“It is completely unacceptable that Transfund and Transit, in teaching themselves (and disagreeing with each other) about how to implement the requirements of the new Transport Act, should leave this project on the shelf for three or more years” Mr Lewin continued.

“The Consent Hearings and particularly the Environment Court hearings have considered the "do minimum" option and concluded that the bypass should proceed”.

“This has been done by proper public process, which at all stages has concluded that the project should be undertaken”

“The recent rainfall should be a timely reminder of how vulnerable Wellington is to its transport infrastructure, and how we need to get on with the priorities at hand”

“Such a wrongheaded move to sideline the bypass would leave unfixed what is already a severe constraint on Wellington Region's economic growth and community well-being” Mr Lewin continued.

“If such a move were contemplated in Auckland, there would be an outrage”

“The Chamber intends to bring interested parties together in the next few days on Wellington’s critical transports needs. We will be turning up the volume on this one” Mr Lewin promised.


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