30 Nov 2013

Green light for expressway so far

12:11 pm on 30 November 2013

A new road that will form part of the corridor from Wellington to Levin has been given the go-ahead in an interim decision released by a Board of Inquiry that considered the proposal.

The 13km, four-lane expressway from Peka Peka to Otaki on the Kapiti coast will bypass the existing State Highway 1.

The New Zealand Transport Agency said the $250 million highway would help efficiency and road safety and be shielded by trees where possible. It welcomed the interim decision, but said there are conditions attached.

Earlier in November, the group Save Kapiti had its appeal against the Mackay's Crossing to Peka Peka section of the expressway dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Spokesperson Mark Harris is not surprised by the latest decision, saying the Board of Inquiry was a box-ticking exercise and none of his group's concerns have been addressed.

Mr Harris says the Transport Agency could have solved some traffic problems by removing or improving the roundabout at Otaki. He said 70% of the traffic in the district is made up of locals, but the needs of people just passing through have been prioritised instead.

Kapiti mayor Ross Church said some residents directly affected by the decision will be upset, but most living in the district realise that something needs to be done.

Mr Church said a crash that has caused major delays on the Kapiti Coast on Friday evening demonstrates how inadequate the present road is.