Govt must explain lack of commitment to fixing Wellington congestion
The Government must explain its lack of commitment to fixing the Wellington region’s transport congestion issues, following the indefinite shelving of the second major project in a week, says Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
"Is the Government interested in solving these issues or not, because it doesn’t look like it.
"Last week they ditched the Petone to Grenada link till at least 2028 and now they’ve done the same with the Melling interchange.
"Petone to Grenada was to be a vital part of the jigsaw of a resilient transport network that would greatly improve efficiency, and the Melling interchange is similarly important.
"Many thousands of commuters and a huge amount of freight goes through Melling on State Highway 2 every day but it’s becoming clogged and that’s affecting efficiency and hurting productivity.
"That project was also to include a re-shaping of the Hutt River to enhance flood protection, without which a lot of people’s homes and industry downstream could be under threat. In addition, the project is key to reshaping the CBD’s potential as a pedestrian-friendly area catering for future residential growth - including a dedicated link to an enhanced Melling train station.
"Business is seriously concerned about this Government’s priorities on transport across the region, and that includes the ongoing delays to the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project.
"If reports that there will be no second Terrace tunnel and no undergrounding of Karo Drive are correct, then that can be down to only one thing - the lack of funding from the Government. If that’s the case, we’re going to get a lite version of what’s needed that is hopelessly inadequate now, let alone by the time it’s finished.
"The Transport Minister must explain what’s going on.
"Why are they delaying project after project when the road congestion is here now? I can only imagine what it’ll be like in 10 years’ time."