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Liaison group for SH 20 Avondale Extension

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

MEDIA RELEASE

9 May 2006


Political liaison group established for State Highway 20 Avondale extension

The council’s Transport and Urban Linkages Committee has heard the community’s concerns regarding Transit New Zealand’s current plans for the Avondale extension of State Highway 20.

The council has established a political liaison group to consider community concerns and ensure they are expressed to Transit New Zealand. The group is comprised of councillors and community board members from the Western Bays, Eden-Albert and Avondale wards.

“We want to see the Avondale extension of State Highway 20 progress, but not at the expense of the local community,” says Councillor Richard Simpson, chairperson of the Transport and Urban Linkages Committee.

“We have established a political liaison group to work closely with Transit. The group will listen to the community and ensure their views are fed into Transit’s plans for the state highway extension.

“We have agreed to the Waterview alignment. Now we need to continue working to ensure social and environmental effects are mitigated.”

Some key concerns were raised at the committee meeting yesterday, including the preservation of Oakley creek and maintaining reserves in the local area. Other concerns have been raised through the political liaison group and Transit New Zealand’s consultation process.

“We heard some of the community’s concerns and share their view regarding the preservation of Oakley Creek and ensuring the area’s open spaces remain as places they can enjoy.

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

”It is vital that the final design balances these impacts with the need for safe and efficient movement of people and goods in the area.

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

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,” says Mr Simpson.

“The Avondale extension will free up local roads, such as Great North Road, and allow the development of better public transport in the area.

“Freeing up the local roads will allow for more bus priority measures as well as better walking and cycling facilities. This will provide the community with sustainable travel choices,” says Mr Simpson.

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 is developing a preferred design including tunnelling and options to ‘cut-and-cover’ the extension. The preferred design is likely to be completed by August.

ENDS

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