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National has today lodged petitions in Parliament showing significant public support for key regional roading projects under threat as a result of the Government’s bad transport policies, says National Party Transport spokesperson, Jami-Lee Ross.

“National is committed to ensuring that our regions are connected to the main centres, with better and safer roads.

“However, in spite of having billions to blow on diplomats and free tertiary education the Government has ripped $5 billion out of regional roading projects to fund a tram in Auckland, placing these projects under threat and that’s not good enough.

“Over 16,000 New Zealanders have signed the National Party’s petitions supporting eight major projects that Labour is set to abandon.

“We know that the Minister of Transport has put a number of important projects under threat including the Tauranga to Katitkati Expressway and the four laning of the Ashburton to Christchurch route.

“The Government has also confirmed that projects the Prime Minister promised would be safe like the Otaki to Levin expressway are being re-evaluated as a direct consequence of the Government’s transport changes.

“We invested billions of dollars into roading projects to help regions like Northland, the Bay of Plenty and Canterbury and had a busy work programme for roading projects in every region of the country, but many of these will now likely also be scrapped.

“The Government’s so-called championing of the regions is empty rhetoric. All this is happening because the Ardern-Peter‘s Government is treating our regions like an ATM, asking them to pay more in fuel taxes and get fewer roads so that they can build a tram through the Auckland CBD.

“The Government must listen to the thousands of people calling for more support for their regional highway projects and pledge more support for the roads that will boost our regions and ensure our regions remain connected.”

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