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AA thrilled, CofC delighted with expressway plans

Press Release – Automobile Association
The Chairman of the Automobile Association’s Wellington District Council John Christianson says today is a great day for the region with the announcement that Transmission Gully and other upgrades will go ahead to improve SH1 between Wellington Airport and Levin.

“Today’s announcements show great vision for Wellington. It went well beyond what we were expecting because it’s dealt with the whole route from Wellington Airport to Levin. It’s a Christmas package that will keep a lot of people smiling for a long time.”

Everything the AA has wanted for Wellington has been provided for, he says. The AA is particularly thrilled with the doubling of The Terrace and Mount Victoria tunnels.

“The New Zealand Transport Agency has made decisions for all the right reasons – improved safety, efficiency, cost effectiveness, and they’ve proposed a package that minimises disruption for property owners and road users.

“We were also pleased to hear that essential safety upgrades on the existing state highway will continue over the next 10 years at the same time as construction of the new sections.”

Along with the majority of the Wellington public, the AA has long supported Transmission Gully.

“In terms of value-for-money, Transmission Gully is now clearly the best choice. It will improve the lives of thousands of commuters and freight operators whose journey will be safer and quicker.

“Critically it will also future-proof our region in the event of an earthquake, flooding or some other disaster by providing an alternative route north.”

Press Release – Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce
The decision to proceed with Transmission Gully and the other elements of today’s announcement on Wellington’s northern roading corridor are the right ones and construction must commence as soon as possible according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“The Chamber has been a major proponent of Transmission Gully right from the outset and the certainty that today’s announcement brings will delight businesses across the region,” said Chamber CEO Charles Finny.

“Transmission Gully is a far superior option than the coastal highway upgrade and we are pleased the government has made the right decision.

“The coastal upgrade was never a viable option – it being more expensive and less resilient than the Gully, particularly with the projected impact of climate change. Construction would also have been more disruptive.

“As Wellington’s population and economy grow, there will be increasing demand for the road.

“Construction on all elements of this road must commence as soon as possible. This decision will lead to a significant productivity boost for the region. This in turn will enable faster economic growth to occur. The sooner this work is completed, the better.

“The Chamber is supportive of tolling or electronic pricing to help fund these roading projects. The government should also be open to the use of more private sector investment including public private partnerships (PPPs) and borrowing to fund the road.

“We have been pleased that the wider regional and national significance of this road has been taken into account in reaching this decision. All of New Zealand will benefit from this decision. We would like to congratulate Stephen Joyce and the NZTA board for this decision,” Mr Finny concluded.