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Greens welcome Wellington Bypass scrutiny

Greens welcome Wellington Bypass scrutiny

Green Party Transport Spokesperson for Wellington Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that Wellington's proposed inner city bypass will be reviewed against new transport objectives by Christmas.

Initiating the review of major projects, first announced last year, is a major step towards ensuring a sustainable and integrated transport system in New Zealand, said Ms Kedgley.

"Replies to Parliamentary questions show Transit never consulted over alternatives to the proposed bypass before fixing on the present route," said Ms Kedgley. "The review gives us time to think again."

"The bypass needs to be weighed up against other priorities for transport funds in Wellington," she said.

"The proportion of commuters who travel into Wellington by car has been declining steadily over recent years. Arguably, the top transport priority for the region is upgrading and increasing the frequency of urban rail passenger transport, so that even more commuters will be encouraged to travel to work by rail."

Ms Kedgley said it was essential that the people of Wellington were consulted on whether they believed building the inner-city bypass was the top transport priority for the city.

"The claim that the bypass is a top priority in Wellington doesn't hold water. New local government legislation puts strong obligations on local authorities to consult their communities over significant projects, yet the transport priority list for the Wellington Region was drawn up over a couple of weeks, with no consultation with Wellingtonians at all," said Ms Kedgley.

"Wellingtonians need to be able to make an informed choice from a wide-range of options - it's about time Transit and the Wellington Regional Council actually gave people a range of options. "The decision whether or not to build a new road has a huge impact on a community, especially a road such as the bypass which will destroy one of the most historic areas of the city, so it is essential that Wellingtonians are consulted.

"New transport legislation also makes it possible to fund a whole package of measures including public transport, so the old line of 'we can't spend the bypass money on other things' just doesn't wash.

"It's about time Transit and others started looking at better options than just 'build a road, here'.

Ms Kedgley said fresh thinking on the bypass was long overdue and she hoped the review would provide an opportunity for Transit and Transfund to find more sustainable solutions.


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