INDEPENDENT NEWS

Candidate Says Penlink Must Become a Serious Priority

Published: Tue 3 Sep 2019 01:41 PM
Mayoral Candidate Says Penlink Must Become a Serious Priority
Press Release: Craig Lord Mayoral Candidate
3 SEPTEMBER 2019
Mayoral Candidate Craig Lord says if Auckland Council is serious about reducing its carbon footprint and holding itself accountable to its own Climate Emergency declaration then Penlink must be done sooner than later.
“The amount of traffic that goes up to Silverdale and down the State Highway has a massive impact on time, money and emissions, so let’s put Penlink on the fast-track and get it started now”
Lord understands that there are two problems holding it back, the current Government wants less roads and less cars, and Council cannot provide the funding. Government needs to acknowledge that this is an essential project, and there are ways to make it happen financially – it’s just a matter of Council, NZTA and the Government getting on with it.
“With consent already sorted the constant delays and continual battles to get the project started make absolutely no sense. Council is concerned about its debt ceiling if it goes into a Public Private Partnership, so forget that. Let’s put the word out locally and overseas, open it up to construction entities with a Build Own Operate Transfer proposal and get them to price it up.”
The major point for Lord is that it must be a four-lane bridge and a minimum four lane road, with six lanes being the ideal.
“Anything less than that is crazy. It will be a toll system that part we get, and the residents are ok with that, but we must have four lanes on the bridge, and even better, it needs to have a movable barrier like the harbour bridge. That way during peak hour flow we can create two lanes for general traffic and one for the public transport and motorbikes.”
Lord also states that there is more to think about than just the Whangaparoa traffic.
“If it is a two-lane bridge, we’ll be back in 10-15 years to expand it. That is inefficient and unnecessary, and it means a double hit of construction for the residents of Stillwater. Not just that, but with the massive developments of Milldale and Dairy Flat it also makes sense to take the traffic flow away from Silverdale asap.”
“As Mayor I will lobby hard for this with the people of Auckland, we need to stop just saying it is a priority and actually make it one. Council has been directing funds elsewhere to cover other projects so there is nothing left in the kitty. We need to find the people willing to build it for us now under the BOOT system, and then, with Councillors, Local Boards and Residents on board and can put pressure on NZTA and the Government to bring this project forward. But not later on, now.”
_ENDS_

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