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Wellington mayoral candidate Jack Yan warns that there could be two flyovers at the Basin Reserve if the first one goes ahead.
‘Through the campaign, people asked me if I was for or against the flyover.
‘The fact is, the various proposals have never been given fair exposure, and the real issue is that there could be two,’ he says.
Mr Yan says during the campaign, flyover proponents said the new road was needed for traffic going to and from Wellington Airport.
However, the current flyover’s plans only took traffic away from the eastern suburbs — if traffic was indeed to go to the Airport, a second flyover would be needed.
He says that this fact has been concealed through the mayoral campaign season, and that there were more sensible proposals that maintained the character of the Basin Reserve, including one from Auckland architect Richard Reid.
The flyover also did nothing to ease the bottleneck at the Mt Victoria Tunnel, he says.
Mr Yan says that in 2010, he was against the flyover, and in a September 2013 release, he pointed out that congestion would increase as a result of new roading, because of the Downs–Thomson paradox. ‘The more roads there are, the more congestion there’ll be,’ he explained on the campaign trail. ‘People would turn to private transport till such point as the time saving becomes eroded through congestion.’ His view is shared by the Wellington Regional Council.
He says the Reid proposal ultimately saves citizens $500 million over the long term and would cost relatively little to implement. It also produces, he claims, time savings and provides room for public transport.
‘While my opponents say that this is a matter for central government and would not affect their rates, at the end of the day, it is still being paid for by the people—but via our taxes,’ he says. ‘If I can save our country $500 million by getting the Reid proposal into the public eye and adopted, then I will.’