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Chamber Members Willing to Pay Tolls

PRESS RELEASE 9 AUGUST 2005

Chamber Members Willing to Pay Tolls – Roading Option must Include Solution to Mana Congestion Problem

- 82% of Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce members say they are willing to pay a road toll to fund any shortfall between Government funding and road construction costs in solving Wellington’s Western Corridor access problem.

- 74% of Chamber members say that proposals to upgrade the Coastal Highway without upgrading the road through the Mana area are not a viable solution to the Western Corridor access problem.

- Roading is the most important election issue for 13% of Chamber members (only tax and economic performance are seen as bigger election issue by more Chamber members).

The above are the results of three of the questions asked of the 1,200 members of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce in the Chamber’s most recent quarterly economic confidence survey. The full results of the survey will be released on Monday 15 August.

“These results show how important the roading issue is for Wellington businesses,” said Charles Finny Chamber CEO. “They also show that the Regional Land Transport Committee has more work to do to satisfy the concerns of Wellington business.”

The Wellington Regional Land Transport Committee is to meet again on 18 August to consider the results of further research on costing options for the Transmission Gully and Coastal Highway options for the Western Corridor access problem. Further work will also be presented on risk factors associated with the Coastal Highway upgrade option.

“When the Government’s very welcome funding offer was announced a few weeks ago some local politicians suggested that this meant that the region would have to decide to proceed with a partial upgrade to the Coastal Highway – leaving the existing road through the Mana area unchanged. Our survey confirms that this would not be seen as a solution to the Western Corridor access problems by the great majority of Wellington businesses,” Charles Finny commented.

“We hope also that Central and Local Government takes note of the willingness of Wellington businesses to consider tolling as a means of bridging the gap between Government funding and construction costs,” Charles Finny concluded.

ENDS

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