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Those frustrated motorists who are facing long waiting times on our regional roads this weekend will have to face reality that under this Government there is no help is on the way, National’s Transport spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Kiwis across the country heading home from holiday will be disappointed the Government has made a deliberate decision to invest nothing into reducing travel times and relieving congestion.

“National had committed to major investment across New Zealand’s regions to fund much needed highway projects, the second generation of our Roads of National Significance. These projects would have dramatically reduced road harm, created jobs and provided economic opportunities.

“The question needs to be asked, is any of the ‘improvement’ work the Government is undertaking going to improve travel times?

“New Zealanders stuck in long lines of traffic in Otaki can thank the Government for re-evaluating the Horowhenua Expressway. The same goes for Kiwis heading between Tauranga and Hamilton – Transport Minister Phil Twyford stripped funding for the Expressway Extension project which would have delivered a safer commute.

“Mr Twyford has ignored the very real fears Bay of Plenty locals have for their safety when travelling from Tauranga to Katikati and has downgraded the Expressway National committed to. The Minister has also axed the planned four lane highway from Christchurch to Ashburton, showing his Government isn’t prepared to support regional New Zealand.

“New Zealand has a growing population and we need to be investing in infrastructure to ensure Kiwis can continue to get around the country. The Government’s only answer is to reduce speed limits and reduce opportunities to overtake.

“National had planned to do so much more and in some cases work would have already begun on roads, but the current Government has changed that. Regions are now making do with half measures and compromises that in most cases won’t do the job.

“With New Zealanders paying more across the country in fuel taxes, they shouldn’t be spending more time stuck in traffic, instead they should be seeing extensive investment in their regional roads.”

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