According to the front page in today’s Dominion Post the extension of the expressway from Peka Peka to Otaki has been pushed out to 16th of 20 priority projects in the Wellington Region’s transport wish-list for the next six years.
The Regional Transport Committee, on which all the region’s mayors sit, signed off its list of most significant projects on Wednesday after releasing its draft list in December and considering 570 public submissions.
Those submissions largely called for a greater focus on public transport and cycling over motorway building.
However, top of the list is still an $8 million package of improvements for Paraparaumu’s local roads so they will be able to cope with the increased traffic demands generated by the Kapiti Expressway.
As well as presenting the Government with its project wish list, the committee also plans to lobby for legislative change that will allow it to impose tolls on existing motorways and charges on vehicles entering Wellington’s CBD.
Paul Swain, Greater Wellington Regional Council’s public transport portfolio leader, said Wellington would join Auckland’s call for these “demand management tools” because building more roads to ease congestion was not a long-term solution.
“They [Auckland] have also come to the view that you can’t continue to motorway your way out of problems.”
The present central government under John Key and Steven Joyce has strongly favoured building motorways and has shown no interest in reducing the amount of traffic on the roads. If there is a change of government in 2017 that is likely to change: the Labour, New Zealand First and Green parties are all supporters of railways for freight and public transport.