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Council adopts new position on Western Corridor

7 April 2006

Council adopts new position on Western Corridor

Wellington City Councillors have voted to accept the recommendation of the Western Corridor Hearing Sub-committee’s that Transmission Gully motorway is the most appropriate option.

The decision came in a Council meeting yesterday.

The Council’s Transport portfolio spokesperson, Mayor Kerry Prendergast will present the Council’s position to the Regional Land Transport Committee on 11 April.

Ms Prendergast says the Council has made a pragmatic decision.

“The majority of Councillors (seven votes to six) still don’t agree that Transmission Gully is the best option. However, we accept that we signed up to a decision-making process and we have to accept the conclusion of that process, for the good of the region, and that is what we have done.

“In doing so, we have also acknowledged the overwhelming public support for Transmission Gully with around 65 percent of people in Wellington City and the region supporting it. We cannot ignore that level of support.

“So while the Council still has concerns about some logic and technical aspects of the Hearing Sub-Committee’s report we accept its conclusions and won’t oppose them on Monday, subject to some conditions.”

Ms Prendergast says the Council has noted that the Hearing Sub-committee acknowledges that Transmission Gully may not meet existing funding criteria. However, the Sub-committee treats Transmission Gully as a special project in a category it calls “critical, strategic and special”.

“It recommends different assessment criteria be applied to the approvals process for this project. We now need to promote development of the new criteria recognising the strategic importance of it to the region and the country.

“The Council will support Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand and other government agencies to develop a case for special funding criteria for projects such as Transmission Gully that have a low benefit-cost ratio.”

Ms Prendergast says in accepting the Hearing Sub-committee’s recommendation, the Council will make it clear the public transport and roading 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 Valley.

“If special funding criteria can be developed, Transmission Gully will be built as well as other roading projects rather than instead of. The Council’s long-held objective for the region has always been an agreed, costed and fundable transport plan.”

In addition, the Council is seeking that regulatory land-use controls be introduced by Porirua and Kapiti to avoid urban sprawl along the new route. The Council has also requested the Regional Land Transport Committee consider how to respond to the issue of climate change in terms of reducing emissions.

“We have made a decision to accept the outcome of the consultation process on the Western Corridor. That outcome was to recommend Transmission Gully. I will now give 100 percent to help the region achieve that,” says Mayor Prendergast.

ENDS

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