Government continues to ignore key road safety projects – AA
25 September 2019
The AA is frustrated that urgent upgrades to some of our most dangerous sections of state highway still won’t progress.
NZTA announced yesterday that $313 million of unused funding from the light rail budget would go towards state highway improvements (most notably, the Manawatu Gorge replacement road), public transport, walking and cycling, road policing, and local road improvements. But there was no funding for any of the 12 state highway projects re-evaluated by NZTA earlier this year.
The re-evaluated projects include urgent safety upgrades on roads like SH2 between Tauranga and Waihi, SH1 from Otaki to Levin, and SH1 from Whangarei to Marsden Point – upgrades that have stalled because of a lack of funding.
“These have been identified for decades as our most dangerous roads, but they are still not getting the attention they need,” says AA General Manager of Motoring Affairs Mike Noon.
“The funding re-allocation was an excellent chance to get these projects progressing, but instead now local communities remain in limbo and that doesn’t line up with the Government’s assertions that road safety is its top transport priority.”
The safety record on these roads will only get worse as the number of cars and trucks using them goes up, says Mike.
“The longer we leave it to start this work, the more road deaths and serious injuries we’ll see.”