Highway Upgrade Cheaper, Safer

Bob Scott has done a brilliant article summarising the folly of the Holiday Highway:

A headline like “80 New Zealanders Sentenced to Death” would bring an outraged reaction if resulting from the actions of a Third World despot.

But the reality is, that’s not the case. Rather it’s what could happen if Transport Minister Steven Joyce gets his way with the ridiculous and hugely expensive scheme to classify the Puhoi to Wellsford motorway extension as a “Road of National Significance”. And to press on with its construction with a completion date of 2032…

He goes on to push for alternatives:

Among the schemes was one that was put forward by the Campaign for Better Transport. Known as “Operation Lifesaver”, it suggested urgent safety upgrades to the existing State Highway 1 at the known accident blackspots and bypasses for Warkworth and Wellsford to ease the congestion at these points.

The benefits of this scheme are many, including an estimated cost of between $160 million and $320 million. A fraction of what the Government is proposing to spend.

The chief benefit, however, is the work to improve the road could be started right now.

If the safety improvements were completed within the next three years, then saving lives would begin in 2014.

That alone could save at least 80 lives between now and 2032 that would otherwise be needlessly lost.

How can anyone possibly justify jeopardising so many lives on a piece of political ideology?

Incidentally, the only feedback we received on our proposal from central Government was that our figures were out of date.

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