Monday, August 24, 2009

Go Steven Joyce!

Isn't it great that the Minister of Transport has effectively shut the Kapiti Coast District Council out of discussions on the Western Link Road?

It's time someone started thinking of the interests of the District as a whole, rather than pandering to particular interest groups.

State Highway One is here to stay. No matter whether you believe in peak oil or not, cars and trucks are with us in some form or other for the foreseeable future. Cars and trucks will carry people and goods through Kapiti to and from Wellington. They also play a key role in helping Kapiti people commute - particularly to destinations not served by the rail network.

Road transport can be dangerous. That's why a safe expressway where people can travel at a reasonable speed without lots of connecting roads will be a great thing. It'll make transport safer, easier and quicker.

The great thing about using the Western Link Road corridor for part of the route is that there's enough empty land to mitigate the impacts of the new road.

Councillors should stop whining and start talking about how we can make a new State Highway One Expressway something to be proud of, with plenty of native plantings and safe over/underpasses for local people.


  1. Agree completely! Well said. The council has had more than enough time to get on with the WLR, and instead has delayed the process for nothing more than political points-scoring. The options presented by LTNZ are thorough, thoughtful, and most importantly, give consideration to what Kapiti and Wellington need beyond the next couple of years. Improving roading transport links will be a great boost to the region. I, for one, am looking forward to a new SH1 Expressway - it's long overdue!

  2. KCDC has spent years prevaricating over what has been the number one roading priority in the Wellington region for a very long time. The Western Link Road designation (previously the Sandhills motorway) has existed since the 1950s, it is about time that this petty provincial small minded council gets sidelined on this issue, and the interests of property developers who want to profit from a project for road users, are put to one side.

    Transmission Gully is not as important as separating through traffic from local traffic in Kapiti - the Sandhills motorway should return, from Mackays Crossing to Peka Peka as the first phase. KCDC has shown itself patently unable to undertake a major roading project, time to save Kapiti ratepayers the cost, and motorists and residents the hassle, and get moving.

  3. I completely agree with you Commonsense. It is great to see NZ Transport Agency have stepped in and come up with 3 viable design solutions to the transport chaos on the Kapiti Coast. For more than 35 years we have been told the Sandhills Motorway, and then the Western Link road, would be built 'soon'.
    Personally I don't mind which option is built, so long as it is done urgently.

    Councils over the years have wasted in excess of $30 million of ratepayers money on consultation, resource consents, design and redesign. This wastage continues. The Western Link 'Motorway' has turned into a meandering 2 lane local road with roundabouts, traffic lights, connections to side roads, and mostly speed restricted to 50 kph. This road, if ever built, would do little to alleviate the congestion on SH1.

    In one of the latest updates on the Western Link Road Council even said "it is fit for purpose". Unbelievable. Fit for what purpose?
    The latest 2 lane road design includes a bridle path, elevated walkways/cycleways, and 'environmentally friendly' planting and landscaping. This all looks very nice, however, it is doubtful whether it is fit for the purpose of moving traffic from A to B safely and in a timely manner.

    We have been told construction on this road could start early in 2010, however, (and I may be mistaken) it does not appear there is even a design for the new Waikanae bridge yet.
    The last thing we need now is more consultation. There are always going to be people who for one reason or another are against any particular design.

    It seems that each time elected Councillors change, their personal views of what the Western Link road should be also changes the design.

    To those who think the existing highway can be upgraded to a 4 lane expressway; (1) where is the room for this on the current highway? (2) an expressway cannot be impeded by numerous entry and exit points, such as those of private driveways for properties dotted along the existing highway (3) imagine the delays caused to traffic flows while this is being built.

    While I empathise with those people who may be affected in any way by either proposal put forward by NZ Transport Agency, the time has long passed when we need more consultation. What is needed now is for somebody to take control and say this is how it will be. Hopefully this person will be Stephen Joyce. After all, is this not why we elect our leaders?