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Puhoi - Warkworth Toll Road "Fundamentally Flawed"

Puhoi - Warkworth Toll Road "Fundamentally Flawed"

NZTA report cites delays at Warkworth to increase significantly

The Campaign for Better Transport today labelled the proposed Warkworth toll road as "fundamentally flawed".

The organisation today took its concerns to the Board of Inquiry set up to look at the environmental impacts of the $750m extension of the existing Northern Gateway Toll Road from Puhoi to north of Warkworth.

Spokesperson Cameron Pitches says that without improvements to the notorious Hill Street intersection, or the inclusion of a new link road to Matakana, the $750m project will not meet one of its key objectives of reducing congestion at Warkworth.

In a report to the Board, project backers the NZ Transport Agency concede that unless changes are made, "delays at the Hill Street intersection were forecast to increase significantly" as a result of construction of the new toll road.

The report goes on to say that changing the layout "seems entirely reasonable, as the traffic patterns will change significantly in this area."

Last month NZTA announced they intend to hold off on any potential upgrades of the intersection until at least 2021, after the toll road is complete.

The same report cites travel time savings of only one or two minutes for trips to Warkworth and the Matakana region at most times of the day after the toll road is complete.

"This is because the fastest route will still be the existing State Highway one," said Mr Pitches.

"The travel time savings for this project are microscopic, outside of the relatively infrequent holiday periods.

Mr Pitches says because the toll road won’t achieve the objective of reducing congestion at Warkworth, the Board needs to consider declining the application.

"It is pretty clear the toll road solution won’t achieve NZTA’s objectives," said Mr Pitches. "It is fundamentally flawed in a number of areas."

Quoted extracts from pages 14 and 60 of NZTA Transport and Traffic Assessment Report: www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/puhoi-to-warkworth-application/docs/assessment-report-transportation.pdf

Board of Inquiry Hearings Schedule: www.epa.govt.nz/Resource-management/Puhoi/hearing/Pages/default.aspx

ENDS

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