Transport Agency officials have confirmed Phil Twyford acted against their advice when he delayed construction of Wellington’s second Mt Victoria Tunnel, National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“After three years of planning, public consultation and promises that Wellingtonians would decide their own transport future, the Transport Minister put a pin in all that.

“It was disappointing to hear NZTA Interim Chief Executive Mark Ratcliffe tell the Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee that the decision to delay the second Mt Victoria Tunnel until the 2030s was outside the agency's control.

“He described NZTA as a ‘delivery agency’ for Let’s Get Wellington Moving rather than a partner in the process, which tells you just how much regard Twyford has for his officials.

“Now we know the final LGWM indicative package was a stitch-up behind closed doors between Ministers and Wellington Mayor Justin Lester, without any NZTA input.

“NZTA’s advice was to build the Mt Victoria Tunnel ‘sooner rather than later’ but Phil Twyford brushed this off. He valued his own political ideology – and whatever was in that secret letter from Julie Anne Genter – above the will of the people.

“This transport package is costing the country $6.4 billion and a second Mt Victoria Tunnel was the second-most popular project with the public, but that obviously counted for little.

“Tunnels under Te Aro and the Basin Reserve for State Highway 1 traffic, as well as an extra Terrace Tunnel, were also on the public’s top ten list, but got canned altogether.

“Wellington deserves better than a Government that’s proven it can’t be trusted on transport.”

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