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‘Killer road’ claims another life

Dr Paul Hutchison - National Party Port Waikato MP

21 March 2005

Campaign launched as ‘killer road’ claims another life

Locals are being asked to sign a petition aimed at drastic improvements to a stretch of State Highway Two dubbed the ‘killer road’ following yet another death on Friday.

“Too many lives have been wasted on this road which has a 40% higher fatality rate than any other rural highway. We need a long-term answer. The quick fix solution that’s on offer now is insulting quite frankly,” says Port Waikato MP National’s Paul Hutchison.

For the first time, locals, including the volunteer fire brigade, community mayors, local MPs and representatives from Transit New Zealand are expected to attend a public meeting in Maramarua from 7pm tomorrow night to discuss the issue.

“All we’ve got is a vague promise for seven kilometres worth of straightening work. This is the main drag from Auckland to the Coromandel and beyond. We have to do better than that otherwise many more motorists are going to die needlessly,” says Dr Hutchison.

“We’re looking forward to finding out whether Transit and the Labour Government are taking this problem seriously or not.”

Dr Hutchison says a petition being launched at tomorrow night’s meeting will ask the Government to commit to funding a four-lane expressway from Pokeno to Mangatarata within ten years.

“This is one of New Zealand’s most dangerous roading gauntlets. When the local kids hear the sirens they worry for the safety of their families, and they know their volunteer fire-fighter dads may be off to attend another death.

“The amount of traffic using this stretch of highway isn’t going to get any lighter. The Government must look for a long-term solution,” says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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