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The National Party has today launched a series of petitions aimed at saving regional highway projects at risk because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland trams, National Party Transport Spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“Roads from Northland right through to Ashburton are being ‘reviewed’ while the Government attempts to divert billions of dollars to pet light rail projects.

“The National Government committed to a large number of important regional highway projects right around New Zealand as the next stage in the successful Roads of National Significance programme to build a modern highway network. These would greatly improve safety and travel times, better connect our regions and boost regional economic growth.

“But Transport Minister Phil Twyford now says a number of these projects are under review. That’s not good enough – our regional communities deserve them and the National Party is committed to fighting for them.

“To ensure the voice of each region is heard the National Party is launching a series of petitions so the public can show the Government how important the projects are. Each MP responsible for their road will be taking their online and physical petition to present to the Government later this year.

The affected roads include:

  • The upgrade of the Redoubt-Mill Road corridor from Manukau and Flat Bush to Papakura and Drury
  • The extension of the Waikato Expressway from Cambridge to the foot of the Kaimai Range, and from Cambridge to Tirau
  • The continuous four lane extension of the Northern Motorway from Warkworth to Whangarei.
  • An East West Link Road project between the Onehunga-Penrose industrial area and State Highways 1 and 20
  • The Tauranga to Katikati Road project as a continuous four lane State Highway with wide lanes and safety measures
  • The four laning of the Napier to Hastings Expressway
  • The Otaki to north of Levin expressway road project
  • The Christchurch Northern Motorway between Belfast and Pegasus
  • The construction of the four-lane State Highway 1 link between Christchurch and Ashburton

“These are the most crucial transport linkages in their regions and the Government has wrongly thrown them into doubt. You can’t argue that you support regional New Zealand and then immediately take these key projects away.

“National Party MPs will continue to push the Government to continue these roads and I encourage the public to show their support,” Ms Collins says.

The petition can be found here.

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