Transport Minister Phil Twyford has lashed out at opposition claims it is reconsidering some major roading projects.
And to suggest the Labour Government isn’t going ahead with projects that don’t exist is misleading, Twyford said in a response to the Times. “This is pure Opposition politicking.
Andrew Bayly, MP for Hunua, and Judith Collins, MP for Papakura, have launched petitions to save the Mill Road corridor project from Flat Bush and Manukau to Papakura and Drury, which the national MPs claim is under review by the Government.
“This project is vital to meet the needs of the increasing population and business development in the Franklin area, and the pressing need to create additional capacity for the motorway network,” Mr Bayly said.
“Unfortunately, Phil Twyford says a number of planned roading projects are under review, including the $955 million Mill Road corridor project, while the Government attempts to divert billions of dollars to smaller Auckland projects, such as inner city trams.
He said an estimated 5000 new jobs are to be created in the Stevenson’s Drury South business park development. If the Mill Road expansion does not go ahead, the subsequent increase in motorway congestion will represent a barrier to the business park development.
“The proposed 4-lane highway from Mill Road and Redoubt Road through Papakura would take in Drury South and connect to a new intersection on SH1 between the Drury and Ramarama interchanges.
“It would be an important link of the upgraded South Auckland road network already including North and South motorway lane increases, and the Waterview motorway and tunnel,” he says.
Mmeanwhile Mr Twyford told the <ITALICS>Times the Mill Road Corridor upgrade is an Auckland Transport project and planning is continuing. “The Labour-led Government has not altered any existing roading projects except Auckland’s East-West link and officials are working to identify a lower-cost, better-value option there,” he said.
“Work is continuing on the Mill Road Corridor as it did before the election and to suggest otherwise is just scaremongering.”
He said Auckland Transport (AT) is leading work to progress the AMETI Eastern Busway. A consent hearing is currently taking place for the Panmure to Pakuranga stage of the project, with a decision expected early next year. Work to prepare for construction is planned to start in early 2018.
“It important to note that the other “highway projects” referred to in National’s petition do not exist. They were election campaign promises made by National in August and never costed or funded,” Mr Twyford said.
“It is rich for the opposition to claim these proposed projects are urgent when they had nine years to undertake this work.”
- The petition can be found here.