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Roads obsession contrasts with balanced approach

12 July 2004

Roads obsession contrasts with sensible, balanced approach

The obsession with roads that has seen the dumping of doubters from the Auckland Citizens and Ratepayers Now ticket for the Auckland City election contrasts with the balanced approach of opposing forces, says independent mayoral candidate, Bruce Hucker.

Dr Hucker, who leads the City Vision team on the current council, says anyone who has doubts about the proposed eastern highway is being dumped from what is becoming in effect the John Banks for Roads Party.

"Banks and his pro-roads colleagues are saying the way to deal with congestion is to complete the motorway network. The eastern highway is justified in their minds because they say it is part of the network they're committed to completing and therefore it's dealing with congestion.

"Contrast that with the sensible, balanced strategy I will bring as Mayor, with City Vision and Labour support. We give priority to public transport and completing key roading links that will genuinely reduce congestion such as State Highway 20.

"The motorway network was conceived in the fifties and sixties. Since then our communities, economy and markets have all changed.

"The Banks Party's rhetoric includes building an eastern highway, a road to nowhere which slashes through Purewa Creek and Hobson Bay, devastating communities and the environment as it goes.

"The eastern highway will not reduce congestion because it is the answer to the wrong question.

"The real question is: how do we move people and goods and services around the city and the region in ways that are least environmentally damaging, that enhance rather than diminish the quality of our lives and contribute to sensible economic and community development?

"The Banks Party is moving back to its more roads philosophy, essentially at the expense of public transport initiatives and the completion of key roading links that will in fact reduce congestion. The eastern highway is not one of those.

ENDS

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