4000+ People Hate the “Highway from Hell”

Press Release – Save Kapiti

4000+ People Hate the “Highway from Hell” That’s what Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan called the route that was selected for the Kapiti Expressway in 2009, and many of her constituents agree wholeheartedly with that assessment.Press release from Save Kapiti ( www.savekapiti.co.nz)
4000+ People Hate the “Highway from Hell”

That’s what Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan called the route that was selected for the Kapiti Expressway in 2009, and many of her constituents agree wholeheartedly with that assessment.

“Over 4000 people have signed a petition initiated by local group ASK, urging the government to rescind its decision to build an expressway through the heart of the district. Instead, we want to have the local link road reinstated, upgrades to SH1 on its existing route and continued improvements to the rail system,” said Save Kapiti spokesperson Jonathan Gradwell.

“The 4,000 signatures represent three times the number who chose the expressway to go on the Western Link route during the poorly handled 2009 NZTA consultation.”

Save Kapiti is proud to be part of a coalition of groups, from Wellington through to Otaki who oppose many aspects of the Wellington Northern RONS. “We are joining together to take the issue to Parliament on Wednesday 6 July, and present the petition to a delegation of MPs.”

“The consultation process in Kapiti has been deeply flawed,” said Mr Gradwell. “Only 34% actually supported the outcome selected in 2009, leaving the vast majority (64%) preferring other options, with many of those not wanting an expressway at all!

“We can’t understand why the government persists with this $2.4 billion spend-up on the Wellington Northern Corridor RONS. NZTA’s own independent economic analysis shows it is not going to deliver the economic growth the government claims. It just doesn’t make sense to pursue such a costly project with negative returns at a time of unprecedented indebtedness, and when the country clearly has other higher priority issues.

“No-one denies there are traffic issues on the Coast – but the Kapiti expressway is not the right solution, especially with a $550 million pricetag for this section. The real issue here is the fact that local and national traffic is currently being forced onto to the same road, causing congestion for everyone at peak time. The alternative local link road would solve this problem.

“We know that Stage 1 of the previously consented Western Link Road, which was ready to go, would have cost only $119 million to Te Moana Rd and would have removed 25% of the peak traffic from the State Highway.

Given that NZTA’s own figures show traffic growth has clearly stalled for the last 10 years, and we have just got our eagerly awaited rail upgrade, why would we race headlong into this gross overspend?”

“No wonder people are furious.”
ENDS

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