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Auckland will suffer a transport heart attack if improvements aren’t made to the Mill Road corridor, MPs for Papakura and Hunua Judith Collins and Andrew Bayly say.

“The $1 billion Mill Road transport project is vital to meet the needs of the increasing population and business development in the Franklin area, and the pressing need to create additional capacity for the motorway network,” Ms Collins says.

“National had promised to turn the road into a major arterial transport route into Auckland. But the Government’s decision to slash road funding has put this long-signalled upgrade at risk.

“In order to fast-track this project, the previous National Government announced the Mill Road project as a state highway, removing the responsibility from Auckland Council.

“This would have provided funding certainty for this important project through the National Land Transport Fund and free up capital for Auckland Council to reinvest in other high priority transport projects.

“It also meant the Government could use the ‘fast-track’ provisions of the Resources Management Act to consent this entire motorway within nine months. Under the current arrangement, it will take years just to get the additional consent for the extension to the Southern Motorway.”

“Upgrading the Mill Road corridor project is fundamental to the growth of the South Auckland region. It will help improve road safety, support future growth areas and improve access to new employment opportunities in Drury South,” Mr Bayly says

“It would also provide an alternative north-south corridor in case of a major disruption or emergency on other southern arterial routes.

“The Government has instead stripped back the project, despite the upgrade promising resilience to the only part of the Auckland motorway that is vulnerable. It would have also facilitated the growth of a major industrial development and help address the south’s infrastructure deficit in terms of road access.

“Transport Minister Phil Twyford’s decision to reassess Mill Road adds up to a lack of certainty, further delays and additional costs. The longer the Government delays the worse the situation becomes for our constituents.”

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