Flyover decision “a tragedy … beggars belief,” proclaims John Milford

Press Release – Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
Wellington can’t stand still in traffic congestion, we have to keep moving on solutions, says the president of the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce John Milford, who is urging the Government not to wait.

“The overall [flyover] decision isn’t going to change. As we understand it, we’re simply waiting on finalising aspects of the report – unless appealed on matters of law.

“Waiting for the final report is only playing out the clock. Wellington can’t stand still in traffic congestion. The Government has to keep moving on solutions.

“It’s a tragedy that the actions of a tiny minority of people have succeeded in holding back Wellington for years to come. Their opposition to the Basin Reserve bridge project will cost countless jobs and has other significant ramifications. Wellington could miss out on around $465million of investment.

“Prime Minister John Key said last year that the city was dying and the Government did not know how to ‘turn it around’. Yesterday Transport Minister Brownlee suggested that the blame for the board of inquiry’s decision falls squarely at the city’s feet.

“Is the no-go on the Basin bridge the city’s fault? No. That’s the fault of opponents of progress who need to stop holding the city back.

“The decision from the board of inquiry beggars belief. It’s fortunate that the National War Memorial Park and Underpass didn’t have to go through the same process. That project was able to get the green light without the bureaucratic and NIMBY (‘Not In My Backyard’) dominated board of inquiry process.

“The traffic congestion problems at the Basin are not going to go away. The Chamber has said all along it is a major congestion point on the road which links the city and the region to the airport, Wellington hospital, and must be fixed.

“We are a year on from being handed down a death sentence and just 8 weeks out from the general election. The city cannot allow it to compromise other projects such as the $375million second Mount Victoria tunnel, and the $268million bus rapid transit network between the CBD and southern suburbs.

“We can’t stand still… otherwise last one to leave, please turn off the lights.”

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