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Govt Should Honour Word and Change Law: Webster

Tuesday 25th Apr 2000
Penny Webster
Media Release -- Other

The Government must honour its word and change legislation now to enable the partial toll funding of public roads, said ACT transport spokesman Penny Webster. Ms Webster was responding to a report in the Dominion newspaper (25/04/00) that the proposed Transmission Gully route into Wellington, can only proceed with timeliness, if the Government passed toll road enabling legislation. Transmission Gully is a proposed 27 kilometre highway between Linden and MacKays crossing that is forecast to cost around $245m. The treacherous stretch of SH1 between Paremata and Paraparaumu, north of Wellington was called “appallingly congested’ and “dangerous” when nominated as one of New Zealand’s worst roads in a survey of 80,000 truck drivers last year. “If the Wellington Regional Council is allowed to partially fund the construction of Transmission Gully through tolls, work could begin by 2003, however if they are refused this funding option Transmission Gully will not be eligible for central Government funding until at least 2015. “Many people will die on this deadly stretch of SH1 in the meantime,” said Penny Webster. “ACT has been saying for years that it is foolish to have a cost/benefit funding formula awarding and collating funding points for injury and death, when an uncomplicated change of legislation would allow private companies to build or alter roads immediately, instead of ten years and twelve deaths later. “Australia came to this conclusion years ago and have implemented the hugely successful BOOT’s (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) scheme. Labour is aware of the success of this and other road funding schemes as when the issue of Transmission Gully was raised after the election “Labour promised to let developers build and operate toll roads” (EVP 02/12/99). “I call on Helen Clark and her Government to honour their word and pass toll road enabling legislation immediately. New Zealand motorists should not have to die on treacherous Easter roads because of Government ideology,” said Penny Webster.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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