Government must explain lack of Highway 58 fixes

The Government must explain delays to vital fixes on the Wellington region’s most dangerous road, says Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

"I thought road safety had taken priority over all other forms of road funding from the Government’s point of view, particularly in light of their target of a zero road toll, but apparently that doesn’t apply to Highway 58, between Porirua and Hutt Valley," says Chief Executive John Milford.

"Four people have died and 68 have been injured in nearly 200 crashes there since 2008 but that doesn’t seem to be enough to warrant planned roundabouts at two accident blackspots being put at the top of the urgent list.

"The crime is that they were part of a safety package announced last year, and were even funded, but now we find out nothing will happen in the foreseeable future, till more money becomes available.

"In the meantime, Transmission Gully will be pouring more vehicles onto the road when it opens in 2021, likely making Highway 58 even more dangerous.

"This is the latest blow for the region’s transport network, especially since the Petone to Grenada road and the Melling interchange were delayed till 2028 at the earliest. They would have eased congestion along Highway 2 and 58 but now they’re on the never-never.

"For a change this isn’t about building more roads, it’s about basic road safety, which the Government said was their priority.

"Transport operators and commuters will be disappointed the high priority safety factors the Government has been talking about are not being implemented.

"This also smacks of a lack of preparation of local links to Transmission Gully, with concerns also over safety and congestion issues in Porirua where an off ramp meets Kenepuru Drive at a single-lane roundabout."

Contact: Brent Webling

Phone: 021 821 383

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