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Mobile Information Centre in Mangere next week

Transit New Zealand
Media Release

7 November 2006

Western Ring Route Mobile Information Centre in Mangere next week

Locals can visit the Mangere Town Centre Library next week to find out more about Transit New Zealand’s proposal to use tolls to speed up construction of the Western Ring Route.

A 48-km motorway between Manukau and Albany, the Western Ring Route will provide a south/north bypass of State Highway 1, the CBD and the Harbour Bridge. If Aucklanders support tolling the Western Ring Route, it could be completed and opened by 2015.

“The public are showing that they are engaged with this concept and that is fantastic”, says Mr Spies. “We welcome informed debate, because at the end of the day, we want to deliver the best possible solution for Aucklanders and for the city. For this to happen, we need to know what people think.”

Over 14,000 responses have been received by Transit so far, following a mail-out of information on the toll concept to all businesses and households across Auckland. Mr Spies says Transit is encouraging as many people as possible to take part in the consultation process.

One of the central elements of Transit’s toll concept, and one which is expected to be a popular topic of conversation at the Mangere information centre, is the availability of feasible alternative routes, ensuring that motorists always have an option of tolled or un-tolled travel.

“One of the key concerns we encountered in the Mangere region during earlier discussions, was that the Manukau Harbour Crossing remain un-tolled so as not to impact on local trips or unduly affect the local community. Ensuring that this is the case is one of the features of the concept.”

The planning and approval process is well underway for the Manukau Harbour Crossing, which will include the construction of a duplication of the existing crossing and widening of the road on each side of the bridge. Transit is involved in consultation at a local level to ensure that the alignment of the new crossing will cause minimal disruption to the local community.

Work on this component of the Western Ring Route is expected to be completed by 2011, in time to help ease the travel times for large numbers of tourists making their way to and from Auckland’s International Airport as part of the Rugby World Cup.

Mr Spies believes that the toll consultation process that Transit is engaged in will ensure a solution that helps to address the region’s congestion, the cost of which the Ministry of Transport have measured to be $700m per year.

“What we are interested in finding out is do people support tolling as a way of opening the Western Ring Route by 2015? Do people want to spend less time stuck in traffic and more time at home, work and play?”

The Mobile Information Centre, with detailed information materials, maps and specialist consultation staff, will be open at the Mangere Town Centre Library on Bader Drive, Mangere, Tuesday 14 November – Saturday 18 November, 10 am to 4 pm. A late night session will be held on Thursday 16 November when the Centre will be open until 6.30pm.

People have until 4 December to submit a response form.


ENDS


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