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Western Corridor – A better solution without delay

Western Corridor – A better solution without delay

20 February 2006

Option3, a fresh new approach to Wellington’s Western Corridor (popularly characterised as Transmission Gully versus a Four Lane Coastal Highway) was launched in Wellington today.

Karl Baker, spokesperson for the Option3 proposal, says Option3 shifts the focus from “which big road” to “what works for everyone and how can we make progress now”.

Based around the slogan “More Choice Please” – Option3 proposes a balanced package based around:

Safety improvements on the coastal highway Vastly improved rail services and facilities Easier, safer walking and cycling Faster, cheaper broadband for home and business Smart planning to develop local economies

..and avoiding the need for big new roads

At present 93% of funds are devoted to roading in the Corridor Plan and only 6% to public transport and other initiatives, despite many submissions calling for upgraded public transport. “We need a more balanced approach that recognises a package is needed in the Western Corridor. Present plans deliver almost nothing to public transport users, and offer drivers only the prospect of even bigger traffic jams at Ngauranga,” Mr Baker says.

Option3 proposes that the six points above are adopted as a framework for the Western Corridor and a more balanced funding approach – 50% on public transport and other options and 50% on roading and related investment. “This is hardly radical stuff in the face of climate change and the end of cheap oil – people need more choices in the future, not just more roads.”

Mr Baker says Option3 means protection for communities and coastlines and relief from the traffic jam headache. Option3 prepares the region for rising oil prices and keeps carbon emissions down. “Best of all, work can start without delay!”

“As Option3 is implemented progressively, everyone benefits. People have more choice, where currently they have no choice except driving, and more road space is available when people really need it.” said Mr Baker. “Option3 results in a virtuous circle of choice and innovation. Present plans, by contrast, point to conflict, frustration and delay, as well as limited choices for many people.”

ENDS

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