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A $730 million cul-de-sac

20 October 2005

A $730 million cul-de-sac

The latest proposal for a shortened Transmission Gully road would create a very expensive cul-de-sac and virtually ignores the need to improve public transport, Green Party Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"It perpetuates the myth that urban sprawl and cheap oil can go on indefinitely.

"Sending traffic from the Kapiti Coast and further north down the already congested State Highway 2 through the Hutt Valley makes absolutely no sense," Ms Kedgley says.

"The best way to sensibly and cost-effectively get the growing number of commuters from the region into the city is with a fast, efficient, affordable and frequent public transport service. This also has the benefit of freeing up the congested existing highway as motorists swap sitting in traffic jams for relaxing on the train.

"We have to give first priority to creating a first class rail service up to Otaki, not building a road that could quickly become a white elephant."

Neither of the other options presently being pursued, which allocate only 10 percent funding to public transport investment, make any sense.

"The environmental effects of a significant upgrade of the coastal route make it an unacceptable proposal. So too does the proposed destruction of local communities.

"But Transmission Gully has equally severe impacts. No one has yet answered why we would want to build a billion dollar motorway, supposed to provide an alternative egress out of Wellington, on an active earthquake fault. I cannot fathom why engineers and other proponents continue to ignore this fundamental flaw in the Transmission Gully proposal."

The Green Party believes the best option is to invest in significantly improving public transport and undertaking improvements on the coastal route that increase the safety of the road, without destroying communities in the process.

ENDS

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