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Labour MPs Welcome Western Corridor Report

Wellington Labour MPs Welcomes
The Report On The Proposed
Western Corridor Plan

Wednesday, 8th March 2006

“Wellington Labour MPs are pleased with the report from the Hearing Sub-Committee of the Greater Wellington Regional Council” the Chair of the Wellington Labour Caucus, Marian Hobbs, said today.

The citizens who made submissions have been listened to. A change has been suggested to the Western Corridor Plan, which replaces the upgrade of Centennial Highway, the Pukerua Bay Bypass and the Mana Bypass with a Transmission Gully Motorway from MacKay’s Crossing to Linden. A number of other deferrals and replacements have been proposed.

The overall costs are the same, although the expense on roading is heavier in the first decade than was proposed in the original Western Corridor Plan. But the total road construction project over 20 years will now cost $100 million dollars less than the original proposals.

The Hearings Committee has focussed on the Western Corridor as they were asked to. That may mean that more localised projects may not receive the same priorities. We agree with the Hearing Committee, when it notes that “it would not be advantageous to any part of the Region, or the Region’s long term development as a whole, if the Region was unable to uplift that package because of anxieties about the future funding of works in other corridors that have not yet been fully investigated, defined or consulted upon.”

Labour MPs wanted these hearings. We wanted a solution to the Western Corridor. We acknowledge that there may well be disappointment about a shift in priorities in other hotspots in the region. But we acknowledge the strength of Wellington feeling that the arguments, the studies must stop and construction begin.

Wellington did suffer from a prolonged period of non-investment in infrastructure. The Regional Land Transport plans have many proposals. Like the Hearings Committee, the MPs believe the initial focus must be on the Western Corridor.

We thank the Hearings Committee of the Greater Wellington Council for the skilled job they have done and the leadership they have shown.


ENDS

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