The Government’s decision to kill off the four-lane Ōtaki to Levin expressway shows Labour’s neglect of New Zealand’s state highways knows no bounds, National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“This is a gut-punch from the Transport Minister to the people of Horowhenua and the thousands of New Zealanders who want a safe and efficient State Highway 1.

“If Phil Twyford is so concerned about the crash rate along SH1 from Ōtaki to Levin then why won’t he upgrade it to the same world-leading standard as Transmission Gully and the Kāpiti expressway?

“The local community deserves the quality four-lane expressway it has been crying out for. But instead it has been let down by a Transport Minister who, remarkably, believes there has been an over-investment in roads and motorways in this country for decades.

“Having certainty about Ōtaki to Levin’s future is cold comfort when the news is that it’s been pegged back from an expressway to a two-lane road that won’t be built for ten years.

“As Transport Minister, Phil Twyford has milked an extra $1.7 billion out of motorists through fuel tax hikes and extra GST, and has plundered billions more from the state highways budget to pay for his light rail pet projects in Auckland and Wellington.

“As a result, $5 billion less will be available to build the safer, high-quality highways this country desperately needs over the next decade.

“Regional New Zealand deserves more respect than it is getting from this Labour-led Government, which – thanks to the Green thumb Twyford is under – is ideologically opposed to building highways.”

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