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Go Ahead For SH20 Undermines Rapid Rail

9 September 2001

Go Ahead For State Highway 20 Undermines Rapid Rail

Auckland Green MP Keith Locke today criticised Transport Minister Mark Gosche's approval to building of a $142 million motorway through Mt Roskill.

"Mark Gosche has got his priorities all wrong. Extending State Highway 20 through to Mt Roskill will put more people on the roads," said Mr Locke who is also the Party's associate transport spokesperson.

"The Greens have been campaigning to put rapid rail through the same corridor. The motorway will be going over land originally designated for rail.

"Connecting the western and southern rail lines with an Avondale-Penrose link would be a much cheaper solution to traffic congestion through Hillsborough and Mt Roskill, and more environmentally friendly," he said.

Auckland planners put aside land for the rail corridor as far back as 1953.

"This link would tie together the Auckland passenger rail network, making it easy for people to move between West Auckland and South Auckland, including the airport, by public transport," said Mr Locke.

"Last year the Green Party and other groups costed a rail link, with an associated cycleway and walkway, at $90 million.

"Some Hillsborough residents think the motorway will reduce the traffic on Hillsborough Rd. But Transit's own figures project more cars going down Hillsborough Rd a few years out. Hillsborough and Dominion roads will be the two main feeders onto the motorway. Dominion Road, already clogged, will become a nightmare.

"The transport minister doesn't rule out a rail link being built some time in the future. But surely he is putting the cart before the horse.

"The Minister should be encouraging people to use public transport by building the rail link now, not enticing them into their cars by building a new motorway," said Mr Locke.

Ends


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