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CEOs to work with Transport Agency to improve regional links

CEOs to work with Transport Agency to improve links around the region

The Wellington Regional Transport Committee (RTC) agreed today that the CEOs of all councils in the region will work with the NZ Transport Agency to oversee the approach to designing the improved transport links between Hutt Valley and Porirua.

The committee decided that the input of CEOs was critical because the Petone-Grenada (P2G) new link road and the upgrade of SH58 are designed to ensure the needs of communities throughout the region are being met.

The Hutt Valley and north Wellington/Porirua form two key transport corridors along which much of the region’s urban development is concentrated. These corridors contain the region’s key transport connections with the rest of the North Island, including State Highway 1, State Highway 2, the North Island Main Trunk Rail Line and the rail line through to Wairarapa. Presently the only connector between these important corridors is State Highway 58.

While the need for a new east-west connection is a well-established part of the region’s transport plans, work to date on the planned P2G link road has highlighted a number of issues that need to be resolved, including the impacts on local communities, and local roads such as Petone Esplanade.

The collaborative approach of having the councils work with the Transport Agency on such issues will ensure they are addressed more effectively.

Fran Wilde, chair of the RTC, says tens of thousands of people travel along the Hutt and Western corridors every day and it’s important that the region keeps looking at ways to reduce congestion.

“We have the advantage as a region of having both rail and road options for people’s travel. Given the significant investment in the rail network over recent years, GWRC is keen to see an enhanced rail service as a major way to address the congestion issues, especially on SH1, as identified by the Petone to Grenada project.

“It’s essential we consider other options alongside the roading options currently being considered.”

Jenny Chewtynd, Regional Director for the Transport Agency, who co-sponsored today’s paper,, says this way of working is essential given the importance of the project for fostering the region’s growth.

“The justification for the P2G link has been well documented and confirmed by its inclusion and programming in the relevant regional strategies. The new P2G link and SH58 safety improvements have the potential to deliver great dividends for Wellington, but if we want to get it right, the region needs to bring its collective resources to the table during decision making and implementation.”

“Together with our council partners we plan and invest in region-wide solutions that are designed to best improve travel in the region. Having all the CEOs sitting around the same table will give us valuable insight, perspective and expertise that will guide decisions for our region’s future.

Ms Chetwynd says that feedback from the community and councils on the P2G options has highlighted concerns about the proposed links to SH1 at Tawa to cater for forecast congestion. She says the new group will allow for further investigation of options to avoid or manage forecast traffic volume increases on SH1 north of Grenada.

ENDS

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