Petone-Grenada decision disaster for resilience + production
The Government’s decision to defer funding for the Petone to Grenada link road till at least 2028 is a disaster for the region’s transport resilience and will hurt productivity, says Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
"This is a short-sighted decision that will have ramifications for productivity across the region for many years," says Chief Executive John Milford.
"They have effectively killed-off a vital piece of the Wellington region’s transport network.
"Deferring funding decisions for ‘consideration’ from 2028 on means it’ll probably never happen. I think they’re putting it on the shelf and hoping everyone will forget it.
"Even if it somehow did get the go-ahead then, nothing much will happen till well into the 2030s, and that will be too late.
"What happens in the intervening 12 or 15 years in the event of vehicle accidents or slips caused by rain or earthquake in Ngauranga Gorge or on State Highway 2 between the gorge and Petone?
"Even the NZ Transport Agency acknowledges this road is needed to reduce peak-hour congestion, provide a valuable alternate route when there is a crash or landslide on the network, and as a key enabler in unlocking the benefits of the northern corridor from Levin to the airport.
"This road was to be a vital part of a resilient transport network across the region. It was to be a part of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving jigsaw, which is effectively a regional transport solution because there’s no point having an efficient city if we can’t move people in and out efficiently. To do that we need a resilient network, which was what Transmission Gully and north to Levin were going to give us, and this was to be part of that.
"The Government talks about the need to build productivity, but how is not building critical infrastructure going to do that? This road would greatly improve efficiency from the Hutt’s industrial area in Seaview to State Highway 1, therefore improving productivity.
"This decision will impact on productivity because without adequate infrastructure people are going to be sitting in traffic queues.
"The Government expects everyone else to meet deadlines around resilient infrastructure but doesn’t follow its own advice when it comes to its responsibilities."