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Accelerated East-West Link between SH1 and SH20 great news

28 June 2013

PM’s announcement of accelerated East-West Link between SH1 and SH20 – “great news!”

The recognition in Prime Minister John Key’s “Backing Auckland” speech today that the freight congestion on Neilson St at any time during the working day is not acceptable,” is a major step forward to getting badly needed action to address longstanding concerns of the freight sector, says National Road Carrier executive director David Aitken.

“Even more positive still is his confirmation that of Auckland’s three highest priority transport infrastructure investment projects, Government’s next major focus will be to resolve the transport problems associated with the AMETI and East-West Link.” The Neilson Street congestion is at the heart of freight sector concerns, as the Prime Minister noted.

“It is not just that truck trips between Metroport and the Onehunga Wharf can take 40 minutes for what is normally a seven minute trip, as the PM noted, but congestion across the whole area is getting worse by the day,” said Mr Aitken.

Government’s request to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to provide advice as soon as possible on which elements of the AMETI and East-West Link can be accelerated with additional funding, and how that funding can be targeted is very appropriate.

“Freight moves the Auckland economy – literally. The road network linking the freight distribution companies located around Neilson St with the rest of Auckland an in particular the sea and airports and the MetroPort rail head are critical to the efficient functioning of Auckland’s day-to-day economy, and the productivity of businesses.”

It is also reassuring that Government is not prepared to accept a 10-year delay to address other bottle necks on the motorway network, and in particular wants to accelerate projects to:
• Widen SH1 at Constellation Drive and fix the connection to the Western Ring Route
• Widen SH1 at between Manukau and Papakura; and,
• Improve the SH20A link to the airport up to motorway standard.

The acceleration of delivery of an integrated Auckland transport network should be the priority. It is pleasing to see that Government agrees with this view, said Mr Aitken.


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