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Petone-Grenada road a promising proposal

1 June 2005

Petone-Grenada road a promising proposal

The Greens are applauding the apparent decision to pull the plug on the Transmission Gully proposal and opt instead for investigating a road link from Petone to Grenada.

"The $1 billion price tag made Transmission Gully a pipe dream," Green Wellington Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said. "If you add the fact that it would have massively increased congestion at Ngauranga Gorge, you start to see the whole idea is silly.

"The Petone-Grenada road has the potential to reduce congestion at Ngauranga without massively increasing road capacity. The Regional Council's own figures suggest Ngauranga is a key congestion point and so it is worth examining this proposal further. However, there is a need to carefully examine the impacts of this scheme before rushing into it."

Ms Kedgley commented that the Western Hill rises pretty steeply and as a layperson she was interested to know what sort of grades this road would have and whether it could be built without significant adverse effects.

"We need to see if it is possible to construct such a road without significant environmental impact or disruption of long-established communities."

She also suggested that any road ought to be matched by a new rail connection between the Hutt and Porirua lines at Ngauranga Gorge, enabling trains to run from the Hutt to Porirua and back again directly.

"Some of the infrastructure is already there and the cost would be about 10 percent of that estimated for the new road.

"Nobody should shed a tear at the demise of Transmission Gully, it is yesterday's idea. It would have been a gross waste of taxpayers' money and would have simply led to more and more cars coming into Wellington and clogging up inner city streets."

Ms Kedgley repeated her calls for priority to be given to a comprehensive upgrade of rail and other public transport in the Western Corridor.

"The Regional Council is seriously underestimating the effectiveness of a substantial upgrade of public transport, coupled with comprehensive demand management. Such investment is also the most sensible step in the face of global climate change and the looming end of cheap oil."

ENDS


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