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'Bypass' decision puts Wellington's name at risk


20 June 2001

'Bypass' decision puts Wellington's good name at risk

Green Party Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley described today's news that Transit New Zealand has received design funding for Wellington's inner-city bypass as "a triumph of short-sightedness".

Ms Kedgley said Te Aro was the fastest growing area in Wellington City and plans from the 1960s for a road through it should be an historical curiosity rather than an impending threat.

"Te Aro's future is as one of the city's premier heritage areas and as a the cutting edge alternative quarter, not as bulldozer fodder," she said.

"Wellington risks its reputation as a leading edge city by being plunged into years of protest and conflict over this road. Transit New Zealand is doing neither Wellington nor itself any favours by obsessively pursuing a road that almost no-one wants and which will do nothing for motorists except shift traffic congestion."

Sue Kedgley said Wellington needed genuine civic leadership that recognises that plunging Wellington into a major conflict is in nobody's interest. "People are dreaming if they think this will happen without a fight," she said.

"Attempting to bulldoze a pointless and outdated road through a community against its wishes is simply perpetuating a culture of violence and disrespect," she said.

"State agencies such as Transit need to get back to reality and ask how they'd like a bulldozer through their own backyards. People are being killed every day on our roads and now we want to destroy a community to build yet another road which will move traffic closer to schools and houses."

Ms Kedgley said she was writing to Transfund expressing her concern about the granting of design funding when there were still major questions over the viability of the project.

"The independent reviewer pointed out that Transit used high risk data and blithely ignored the fact that new roads create more traffic. I want to know why design funding has been granted when these outstanding issues remain."

Ms Kedgley said the best thing for Wellington would be for the $25 million in 'bypass' funding to be spent on public transport, pedestrian and cycle facilities and for Te Aro to be allowed to flourish without the threat of a road.

"Neither the Green Party nor the people of Wellington have given up," she said.

Sue Kedgley was invited to the launch of the National Roading Programme at the Park Royal tomorrow eveining, but will instead be joining CBC protesters outside at 5.30pm. and Nandor Tanczos will also attend.


ENDS

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