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Motorway through PM’s electorate canned

Maurice Williamson - National Party Transport Spokesman

24 March 2005

Motorway through PM’s electorate canned

National’s Transport spokesman, Maurice Williamson, says there is something sinister in the outrageous delay of the key motorway link through Avondale. The Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee has dumped the Western Motorway ring route through Avondale to the Northwestern Motorway and an eastern transport corridor between Pakuranga and Panmure from its 10-year plan. “This is despite the Minister’s answers to my question just last week in which he said the Avondale section of Highway 20 would begin by 2010-11 and be completed within five years,” Mr Williamson says.

“There is something very sinister going on here. The extension to Highway 20 was planned to go through the electorate of Prime Minister Helen Clark and now it’s been stopped.

“Helen Clark has been quoted as saying the extension would go through her electorate over her dead body, so serious questions now have to be asked. “Transit should reveal the real reason for canning this vital project. Did they get a phone call from Helen Clark or her Transport Minister before changing their minds? This smacks of dirty work at the crossroads.

"Auckland motorists should feel betrayed by the broken promises and a lack of appreciation by the ARLTC about how serious Auckland road infrastructure problems really are," Mr Williamson says.
“Allocating $3.48 billion to public transport flies in the face of all international experience which shows clearly that societies like New Zealand will always favour the convenience of the motorcar. We do need to spend money on public transport but a much higher priority is completing the Auckland motorway network.

“Projects such as the widening of the motorway chokepoint over Victoria Park, a duplicate Mangere bridge, and land purchases for another crossing of the Waitemata Harbour cannot wait. Many of us will have died from old age before this work is done,” Mr Williamson says.

ENDS

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