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Waikato Expressway: Road of National Significance

John Key MP
National Party Leader

21 October 2008

Waikato Expressway: Road of National Significance

National will complete the construction of the Waikato Expressway within 10 years, says National Party Leader John Key.

“New Zealand has a significant infrastructure deficit. Large chunks of our roading network are clogged with bottlenecks and delays, leading inevitably to cost escalations which stifle economic growth.

“National will give priority treatment to the completion of the Waikato Expressway to help promote economic growth in the region. As a critical link in State Highway 1 – the backbone of our national road network – the Waikato Expressway will fall under our proposed new category of state highway called Roads of National Significance. These roads will be central to our development, investment, and growth plans.

“Reducing costs and travel time between Hamilton, our fourth largest city, and Auckland, our largest city, makes unmistakable economic and environmental sense. It is clear that the completed Waikato Expressway will fuel long-term economic growth in the region and boost national productivity.

“Most importantly, this will be an investment that delivers considerable returns to New Zealanders for generations to come.”

Mr Key says National is committing $790 million above funds already committed to the project to ensure it is completed expeditiously.

“The money will come from the additional infrastructure funding signalled in our fiscal policy. I want to stress that there will be no tolls on this road.”

The benefits of completing the Waikato Expressway include:

• A cut in typical travel times by at least 20 minutes between Cambridge and Mercer.

• Increased highway capacity and reduced congestion.

• Lower costs for the up to 16,000 to 20,000 motorists using this route daily in 2016.

• Millions of litres of reduced fuel consumption.

• Regional stimulation and economic growth.

“National does not believe it is credible to wait more than 10 years, on current planning, to even begin many of the Waikato Expressway component projects. That’s why we will complete the remaining tranches within 10 years.

“The New Zealand economy faces some big challenges in the years ahead. We cannot afford to let projects that are vital to enhancing the capacity for growth to languish on the backburner.”

To view Waikato Expressway Q&A visit: http://national.org.nz/files/2008/expressway_qanda.pdf

ENDS

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