Horowhenua residents have called on the Government to end the mental anguish it is causing them and get on with building the region’s new expressway, Ōtaki MP Nathan Guy says.
“The message they delivered in their hundreds at a rally in Levin today to protest the inaction was clear. They need funding and approvals confirmed now - not more uncertainty, congestion, fatalities and broken promises from the Labour Government.
“Many residents and businesses have been left in limbo since NZTA announced its preferred corridor in December for the expressway between Ōtaki and north of Levin. Nothing has happened since then.
“The Government isn’t interested in building new roads and I'm hearing NZTA won't allocate the $20 million necessary to push the consent paperwork through and get this highway built.
“Only a handful of houses have been purchased to date and the Government has said it won't purchase any more properties until RMA approvals have been granted.
“That has left locals feeling paralysed and sick from stress. Their lives have effectively been put on hold for years because the Government has turned NZTA’s priorities towards rail at the expense of roads. The pain on their faces was plain to see today.
"The existing SH1 has claimed 11 lives in the past five years and seriously injured another 43, but these horrendous statistics don’t seem to bother Transport Minister Phil Twyford.
"When the Transmission Gully motorway and Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway open in 2021, Levin will have the worst congestion in the North Island. Locals need a solution now, rather than more thumb-twiddling from the Transport Minister.”