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Response to Akld road challenge ‘simply excellent'

Media statement Monday, September 5th, 2005

Response to Auckland’s roads challenge ‘simply excellent’

National’s announcement this morning it will fast track Auckland’s planned state highway network is simply excellent, says Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

“Completing the network within eight years is an excellent response to our city’s number one election issue,” Mr Thompson said.

“We welcome the commitment a National government would bring to finish the Western Ring route (SH20), Harbour Bridge to City and the Newmarket Viaduct projects.

“We put up the challenge to do this as part of the Auckland Business Forum because Aucklanders have said it is our number one concern in a Herald-on-Sunday - Digipoll (31/7/2005)

“58 per cent of the poll said transport was our most important issue, well ahead of tax at 19.9 per cent.

“An AA poll in 2003 found over the overwhelming majority of Aucklanders supported the completion of our long planned roading network.

“The Allen Report released last year identified that the country as a whole would gain $838 million a year, or $4.60 each year for every $1 invested in building the western ring route.

“In economic terms, National has made a straightforward sensible decision.

“Our major concern now is that the Greens in coalition with a Labour-led government would divert the funding committed to roads into public transport.

“The Greens oppose new urban roads and are proposing a Road Transport Reduction Act.”

ENDS

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