(National Party media release)

Horowhenua deserves better

The shambles of roading in our area has gone too far. Too many lives are being lost and the wrong actions taken to fix the underlying problem. We need a new road.

The O2NL Expressway, which will save more lives than any other stretch of new road in New Zealand, still hangs under a cloud, and is at best eight years away. SH57 is blocked off with a detour through Himitangi, even though road works only extend between Tararua Road and Kimberley. Levin’s transport woes will only get worse when the Otaki bypass opens and Levin becomes the bottleneck for the Lower North Island.

In light of this, National Transport Spokesperson Simeon Brown (MP for Pakuranga) and local Electorate Chairperson Tim Costley have called a public meeting in Levin. The meeting will be held on Wednesday February 9th at 10am in the Levin Memorial Hall off Queen St.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Levin to discuss the transport needs of people who live and work in the Otaki Electorate. 

“Getting around the country and seeing first hand the transport needs of regional NZ is one of my top priorities as National’s new Transport Spokesperson. 

“National has a proud track record of investing in connecting the Kapati Coast and Horowhenua District with Wellington, however under this current Govt little progress is being made. 

“We need to continue this progress and meet the needs of future generations and the future transport needs of this region. 

“I’m looking forward to visiting the region and seeing first hand the challenges and opportunities facing this important region.”

Local National Chairperson Tim Costley will host the meeting, frustrated by continual delays to O2NL and a complete lack of visible progress. “How anyone can justify delaying a new road like O2NL, which was projected to save 135 deaths and serious injuries in the first ten years, is beyond me.”

“I drive this road every single day to work and back. I’ve been caught in numerous crashes and blockages over the last 12 months, every single one of them tragic, but tragically predictable. It is not good enough to simply blame process and push the problem down the road, because people die on that road. And we know with absolutely certainty that more will die until it is replaced.”

“When Transmission Gully and Peka Peka to Otaki both open, Oxford Street will become Wellington’s bottleneck. It will be worse than ever before.” Costley advocates for fast-tracking O2NL, like National did with the Kapiti Expressway which went from concept to completion in under seven years. O2NL has been on Labour’s design books for more than four years and is still almost four more years from even starting construction. “12 years is far too long to build this road.” Costley has spoken to contractors and it is possible to build the Levin bypass section across the North of Levin early, to take SH1 traffic out of Levin. “This needs to start now.”

Simeon Brown and Tim Costley will also be at Harrison’s Garden World in Peka Peka at 12pm on the 9th to discuss making Peka Peka a fully-functioning two-way interchange. Christopher Luxon is also planned to visit the region in March. Deputy Leader Nicola Willis is at the Levin AP&I show this weekend with Tim Costley and the National team.