Opposition says Govt needs to reconsider its transport priorities

Simeon Brown and Denise Lee MPs presenting their petition in Parliament, with permission for publication.

The Government needs to reconsider its decision to can a key strategic transport network in Auckland, the East-West Link, as congestion in the city continues to worsen, MPs for Pakuranga and Maungakiekie Simeon Brown and Denise Lee say.

“Despite the business case for the East-West Link stacking up, the project was left out of the Government’s transport plan. Commuters are facing rising petrol costs due to the regional fuel tax, but aren’t seeing the investment in significant roads like the East-West Link,” Brown says.

He says the East-West Link would have had an enormous benefit for local and national economies.

“By cancelling the route, the Government has clearly signalled it does not take congestion in Auckland seriously.”

Brown says the new route would have improved safety and accessibility for cycling and walking and provide transport choices for people in our communities.

“Transport continues to be one of the most important issues for residents in my electorate of Pakuranga, with many working at or owning businesses in the area that would have benefitted from this project.”

Lee says East-West Link would provide a new transport connection, making it easier for local business owners, freight and customers to get in and out of the Onehunga – Penrose area, supporting the movement of goods, services and people for Auckland.

“There are over 6000 daily freight movements on Church Street alone. We need to get these trucks off our suburban roads for the sake of local residents and businesses,” she says. 

“The area targeted by the East West Link employs over 130,000 people and contributes roughly $10 billion a year to Auckland’s economy. The key aspect of the project was to create a further connection between SH1 and SH20, and improve connections to rail and freight hubs in the area.

“Commuters are under pressure from rising petrol costs and increasing congestion. It simply isn’t right for them to pay that price without the Government reinvesting it into the roads they’re using. Transport Minister Phil Twyford has been asleep at the wheel in finding an alternative solution.”