INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tauranga Bridge: Half A Solution

Published: Wed 1 Dec 2004 10:39 AM
Tauranga Bridge: Half A Solution
New Zealand First transport spokesperson Peter Brown has described the Government’s offer to pay for only part of the Tauranga Harbour Link bridge as stingy, and not nearly enough to ensure that the high-priority project gets underway as soon as possible.
“We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the Harbour Link Bridge can and must be classified as a state highway – and it must receive priority funding, not tolls, and now,” said Mr Brown.
“It is nonsense to suggest that the Harbour Link bridge shouldn’t be deemed a state highway. Clearly it meets all the criteria.
“This bridge cannot and should not have to wait for funding and neither should motorists be tolled. This latest idea by the Government is simply designed to appease those opposed to tolls, but is less than half a solution.
“The Government, Transfund and Transit must be firmly told that the bridge is essential, that it should be given state highway status and as such should be fully funded by Transfund,” Mr Brown said.
“It should be immediately designated as a state highway and the state programme should be expanded by making full use of the taxes collected and by borrowing against the future petrol tax take.
“The solution is simple, and it is staring us in the face. The economic gains both for the region and the country as a whole are huge and no time should be wasted debating half solutions,” Mr Brown concluded.

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