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Transit Funding "Shortfall" An Opportunity

Media Release

Transit Funding “Shortfall” An Opportunity, Says Option3

22 February 2006

Option3, the group promoting a fresh approach to the Western Corridor, said Transit New Zealand’s funding shortfall offers the chance to take a fresh look at transport plans for the next 15 to 20 years.

“A funding ‘shortfall’ is an opportunity for creative thinking and a chance to revisit priorities. Big new roading projects are expensive and there may be easier, cheaper and more innovative ways to meet people’s needs” said Karl Baker, Option3 spokesperson.

A quick review of existing Transit plans and community suggestions for the Western Corridor reveals the following examples of ideas that are both affordable and very effective:

Extend the median barrier on the coastal highway to cover the whole of the accident-prone section

Introduce lights, surrounded by a speed camera enforced 50km/ hr zone, at Paekakariki (and synchronise lights and rail crossing!) – and make clever use of slip lanes to avoid unnecessary delays

Look again at the cheaper, faster and less destructive “twin bridges” option for the Western Link Road

Extend Automatic Traffic Management Systems along the length of the Western Corridor

Introduce variable speed limits on SH1 between Ngauranga and Paraparaumu as means of creating slower smoother journeys – slowing speeds down the line can help stop big traffic jams ever forming and improve overall travel time!

Provide up to the minute text, web and phone based real-time information at weekends and holiday periods so people can plan to avoid big jams.

Introduce more High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes along SH1 – including at Ngauranga

“Coupled with other aspects of the Option3 approach, projects like this can deliver real benefits in the near future at a highly affordable price. We urge Transit and local councils to look for creative options to meet people’s real needs” commented Mr Baker.

Option3 proposes a fresh approach to the Western Corridor based around safety improvements on the coastal highway, vastly improved rail services and facilities, easier, safer walking and cycling, faster, cheaper broadband for home and business, smart planning to develop local economies, and avoiding the need for big new roads.

“We urge decision-makers to look for creative opportunities, rather than just lobby for more roading money” concluded Mr Baker


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