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Council Report Recommends Transmission Gully

Council Report Recommends Transmission Gully Option 01.04.06

A Wellington City Council report is recommending Councillors accept the Western Corridor Hearing Sub-Committee’s key conclusion of supporting the Transmission Gully Motorway plan.

The report will be discussed by Councillors at the Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on 6 April.

The Council's Transport spokesperson, Mayor Kerry Prendergast, says since the Council adopted a position of supporting an incremental Coastal Highway upgrade for the draft Western Corridor Plan in November, key reports have been released with new information on public opinion, project costs and consenting feasibility.

"These reports have provided clarity around the key issues and impacts of proposed projects. They also reflected the overwhelming public opinion from residents of Wellington City and the region that the Transmission Gully option should be progressed without delay.

"In considering these reports we had to be conscious that Council agreed to a process and that process has produced findings. We need to accept the findings.

"We still have some concerns about technical aspects of the Hearing Sub-committee's report, but given that 65 percent of people in the region support Transmission Gully, together with our participation in an agreed process, the Council's report is recommending the Council amend its position.

The Council report makes it clear that in accepting the key conclusion of the Hearing Sub-committee the transport needs of all communities in the region should not be compromised. This includes the completion of essential transport projects from Ngauranga to Wellington International Airport and Grenada to the Hutt.

"The tens of thousands of people who come into the city from Miramar, Karori and other Wellington suburbs each day deserve as good a roading system as the people who come into the city via the Western Corridor. That is in the interests of both the city and the region."

In addition Wellington City wants assurances from Porirua and Kapiti that they will implement land use controls to minimise any urban sprawl impacts along the Transmission Gully route.

Ms Prendergast says an important aspect of the Hearing Sub-committee's report was treating Transmission Gully as a "critical, strategic and special" project by recommending different assessment criteria be applied to the approvals process for this project.

In coming to this conclusion the Hearing Sub-committee found that Transmission Gully had unique characteristics that warrant this status which might include:

* its strategic importance to maintain a link between the North and South Islands and access to the Capital, a city vulnerable to earthquake risk;
* its strategic importance as a project that supports the future growth of the region;
* the scale of the project and unsuitability for staged construction which makes it difficult to accommodate in a 10 or even 20 year roading programme;
* the difficult terrain for construction that potentially puts it beyond the means of the regional community.

Ms Prendergast says the public has made it clear it wants action not more reports.

"To ensure action, the Council supports Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand working with government agencies to develop a case for special funding criteria for Transmission Gully and other special projects.

"This approach may provide the avenue for Transmission Gully to be funded without impacting on the needs of other projects and communities in the region."


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