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Avondale extension plans progress

1 March 2006

Avondale extension plans progress with public open day

Progress on Transit New Zealand's plans for the Avondale extension of State Highway 20 will be made public at an open day today, and Auckland City is urging Aucklanders to take this chance to have their say.

Auckland City supports Transit's completion of State Highway 20, and the western ring route, as soon as possible.

"We support the completion of the western ring route because it will provide a much needed alternative to the southern motorway, and create significantly better travel options for residents and businesses in the north, west and south of the region," says Councillor Richard Simpson, chairperson of the council's Transport and Urban Linkages Committee.

The council is pressing Transit to explore opportunities to enhance the Avondale area after conditionally agreeing to the Waterview alignment in December last year.

"We want to see the Avondale extension progress, but not at the expense of the local community. There is significant potential to create significant benefits for local communities," says Mr Simpson.

Auckland City recognises that developing the state highway extension in an existing urban community without an existing designation will affect the local community, including properties and recreational facilities.

"Impact on local residents and businesses is inevitable where there isn't an existing transport designation within an urban area such as Avondale," says Mr Simpson.

"This makes it even more necessary to take advantage of opportunities to shape the project to benefit the local community."

The council believes it is possible through careful planning of the Waterview alignment to facilitate major improvements for the community.

"We want to see plans advance, but in the right way," says Mr Simpson.

"We are continuing to work with Transit to ensure community needs are met and adverse impacts are minimised.

"We are working to ensure people are treated fairly. Providing certainty must be given top priority and compensation must be equitable.

"There is potential for open spaces to be retained or replaced, while protecting unique features such as Oakley Creek," says Mr Simpson.

"We want Transit to give appropriate consideration to all the options within its preferred study area, evaluating the impacts on the local community to ensure the best outcome."

The council believes it is possible to deliver the state highway extension while:

* enhancing open spaces and urban form

* reducing the severance of Waterview's community

* improving traffic conditions for the Avondale town centre

* significantly reducing traffic and improving the environment along Great North Road

* developing bus priority measures, improved cycle and walking connections and streetscape improvements.

Transit New Zealand's plans for the Avondale extension will be on display at an open day this Wednesday, 1 March between 3.30pm and 8pm at the Avondale Primary School, Crayford Street.

The plans will also be available at the drop-in centre between 10am and noon, and 1pm and 3pm on Saturday, 4 March at the Avondale Community Centre, 99 Rosebank Road.


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