Capital will 'choke' on new highways
MICHAEL FORBES (abridged article from Dominion Post 2/9/13)
Hardest hit will be Wellington city, as people from Porirua and the Kapiti Coast ditch public transport in favour of a faster, cheaper journey into the capital on the new four-lane highways.
The predictions are contained in a report commissioned by Greater Wellington Regional Council, which warns that local roads could struggle to handle the additional tens of thousands of cars hopping off State Highway 1.
The report, by independent consultant Opus, was completed in December but has not yet reached the regional council table. It will be discussed at committee level this month.
Paul Bruce, the regional council's Green party representative, called the report a "damning indictment" of the Government's $3 billion upgrade of SH1 between Wellington Airport and Levin, known as the Wellington Northern Corridor.
It includes the Transmission Gully highway, Kapiti Expressway, Basin Reserve flyover, and the undergrounding of Buckle St.
"They're throwing away money on these roads when they can't afford to . . . inducing more car use is no good for anybody," Mr Bruce said.