The Hutt News,
Feature letter, 15 March 2011.
News that the proposed Cross Valley Link road has been scrapped is surely welcome for Hutt residents.
Even more welcome would be signs that the Council is ready to look at the alternative solutions needed to solve our city's transport woes.
VAN - Valley Action Network led grassroots opposition to the Cross Valley Link from 2007.
We didn't oppose it just because of the cost to ratepayers, who would have borne much of the $76 million price-tag.
Building more roads also fuels the growth of climate-changing greenhouse gases.
It ties us to cars for our transport, just as the world's cheap oil supplies are running out. Who can afford the price of petrol now?
Construction of the Link would have impacted on scores of properties and on the ecology of the Hutt River, Te Awa Kairangi.
True, the congested Petone Esplanade does need relief. It carries 30,000 vehicles per day.
Around 3,000 are trucks carrying freight from Seaview and Gracefield. Freight could go by train, with less impact on our climate too, if the Gacefield rail line was re-opened as the Petone Community Board suggests.
Many of the other 28,000 vehicles carry commuters. Commuters sick of being stung at the pump would happily switch to public transport if it was made frequent and free.
Past Mayors and Councillors battled for decades for the Cross Valley Link. If the current and future Councils put similar energy into the ecologically sound solutions which serve the people, we can succeed.
VAN - Valley Action Network