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A solution to traffic woes

A solution to traffic woes

The New Zealand Herald editorial of March 24 is right on the button.

The massive expansion planned for Auckland International Airport at Mangere might be nice for overseas travellers but it will only make Auckland’s traffic problems even worse.

Already, 81,000 vehicles a day visit Mangere airport; over a third of them travel from Waitakere City, North Shore and Rodney, squeezing through the narrow isthmus and choking our already over-congested roads. Auckland International Airport itself projects that figure to rise to 153,500 in 10 years- a 90% increase.

So the solution to thousands more cars traversing Auckland is not a bigger airport at Mangere- in fact that will only make matters worse. And it is not the $2.9 billion that Auckland International Airport Ltd wants spent on roads and motorways. For virtually nothing, the problem can be partially solved by opening up a second airport at Whenuapai.

Already, more than half a million people live within 15 kms of Whenuapai. That population is set to double within 20 years. That’s the same potential customer base that Mangere has, so as a business proposition Whenuapai more than stacks up.

But it is on the transport front where real gains can be made.

Waitakere City Council has been campaigning for the commercialisation of what is already a fully functioning airport since the Government announced that the RNZAF was to move to Ohakea.

We have the support of the Councils of the region (including the ARC) as well as hundreds of businesses who see Whenuapai as critical to their growth into the future.

Last year it was announced that the air force could take another decade to move to Ohakea from Auckland. The Government asked this City to continue to work on a proposal that would see joint military and civilian use. That’s a project that we, along with other councils in the region will be pushing hard for.

Improvements to motorways and passenger transport systems in Auckland are essential – and Whenuapai airport has a major part to play in that.


Bob Harvey,

Mayor of Waitakere City.

ENDS

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