Better Puhoi-Wellsford plan ready now

Friday 15 October 2010, 2:02PM
By Green Party


A plan to save lives and money on the motorway between Puhoi and Wellsford got a strong endorsement from the Green Party today.

‘Project Lifesaver’ is a scheme to add safety barriers and ease congestion on State Highway 1 north of Auckland at a fraction of the cost of the National Government’s planned motorway expansion.

“The ’Project Lifesaver’ scheme makes the road much safer much more quickly. It could save 50 lives in the time it would take to build Stephen Joyce’s toll road,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

‘Project Lifesaver,’ proposed by the independent Campaign for Better Transport, is estimated to cost up to $320 million compared to the Government’s toll road between Puhoi and Wellsford that would cost up to $2 billion.

The ‘Project Lifesaver’ plan calls for wire or concrete barriers on dangerous sections of the road and would add an extra lane between Puhoi and Warkworth to ease congestion. “We can do something to save lives now,” said Mr Hughes, noting that the Government’s current plan would not be finished until 2022, meaning some safety improvements were 12 years away.

“There are smarter solutions to our transport problems than the Government’s massive motorway projects,” said Mr Hughes. “The ‘Project Lifesaver’ scheme would give us a lot of benefits at a fraction of the cost. The money saved could be shifted to smart solutions like a CBD rail loop in Auckland.”

Mr Hughes congratulated the Campaign for Better Transport on its proposal. “It’s a professional piece of work from concerned citizens who want safer roads and smarter economic choices. It’s just a shame that they have to do the Government’s work.”

The National-led Government seemed determined to swim against the tide of economic analysis, public opinion and increasing public transport use, the Green MP said. “Most New Zealanders understand that more motorways won’t fix our problems. Unfortunately the Government is obsessed with roads. They call them roads of national significance, but they’re really just roads of significance to National.”

Link to the Project Lifesaver plan