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Ring road tolling does not address region's need

Media Statement 11am - 12 October 2006

Transit’s ring road tolling plan does not address region’s most pressing need

Waitakere City Council says Transit’s proposal does not help Waitakere and does very little to deal with the region’s number one transport problem, which is traffic congestion.

“It’s bizarre to build a “hot lane” right through the middle of our city, with an on and off ramp at Hobsonville in the north west – nearly North Shore - and the other at Avondale in Auckland City, says Mayor Bob Harvey

“In between those two points, a city of 180,000 people has no access. Our people – and importantly our business and commercial traffic - will have to continue to sit in dense traffic on the North-Western Motorway and Hobsonville Road,”.

“The fact is that this city contributes 30,000 vehicles twice a day to Auckland congestion and congestion costs the region $1billion a year.

“The principal way we are going to solve that in Waitakere is by developing more local employment to reduce the number of people leaving the city. For that we need economic growth and that means more and bigger businesses. Businesses need easy convenient access to the city,” he says.

“What we are saying, therefore, is that for this toll road to work for us and the region, Waitakere needs convenient access within the city at Westgate, Te Atatu and Lincoln Road and preferably both,” he says.

“Business traffic access is the one thing we wanted from Transit in order to achieve economic transformation that will serve us and the region well into the future – and that is the one thing we’re not going to get under this proposal, as it stands,” he says.

“Rather than a solution that benefits the whole region, therefore, Transit has revealed a plan that will relieve some congestion in Auckland while adding more congestion, more toxic emissions and more noise to Waitakere,” Mayor Harvey says.

“Quite clearly, Transit has not understood the big picture of regional needs and this shows the weaknesses of a centralised highway planning system that is not leavened by local knowledge. It emphasises the need for proper regional road and transport planning,” he says.

Mr Harvey says he is going to call a meeting of Waitakere MPs to discuss “in no uncertain terms” how they can support the city achieve what it needs in terms of long term transport planning


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