Feedback from the public will be pivotal as the region works together to develop the Petone to Grenada Link Road.
The Wellington Regional Transport Committee (RTC) agreed on Tuesday that the CEOs of all councils in the region will work with the NZ Transport Agency to oversee the approach to designing the improved transport links between Hutt Valley and Porirua.
Transport Agency Regional Director Jenny Chetwynd says the community’s response to public consultation was heartening and has attracted over 1,400 submissions.
“Fourteen hundred submissions is a phenomenal response, and we can’t stress enough the valuable role that local insight will play in guiding the development of the project. We’re thrilled that the community have shown so much interest in the proposals.”
Ms Chetwynd says submissions have continued to roll in, and it was pleasing that the submissions deadline had been extended.
The collation of feedback is in its early stages but some key themes have been identified from the submissions.
Ms Chetwynd says most submissions appear to be supportive of a link road in principle, but a number of concerns have been raised relating to a range of issues.
“Enabling safer, quicker, more reliable journeys between Porirua/Tawa and Hutt Valley appeals to a high number of submitters, and now the question is how we go about it.”
“While there is strong support for a Link Road, many residents have questioned the need for a Takapu Valley link or the widening of State Highway 1 at Tawa, and raised concerns about loss of land affecting homes and community facilities.
“We’re very conscious of community concerns about property loss and the impact it will have on the lives of people. We don’t make decisions about property acquisition lightly, and we are actively exploring all possibilities with our regional partners to keep property impacts to an absolute minimum.
“We are also committed to improving the safety of SH58, which remains a valuable link to the north.”
Regional Transport Committee Chair Fran Wilde says she understands that submitters have shared broad agreement that resilience to disruptive incidents is crucial, and there is wide recognition that in the event of a major crash or earthquake, a Link Road would provide a valuable alternative route.
Among other matters raised in submissions were:
Submitters have also stressed the importance of supporting public transport, and Ms Wilde says the region will be exploring options to help manage or avoid forecast congestion on SH1.
Ms Chetwynd says numerous other issues have been raised in submissions, and those outlined here are not exhaustive or necessarily the ‘top ranking’ overall, but rather what has surfaced in the early stages of the assessment of feedback.
Where to from now?
Over the next few months, feedback will be collated and analysed. This feedback will be used by the steering committee to help inform, change and refine the Petone to Grenada proposals. A consultation report summarising submissions will be released in winter and a preferred route is expected to be released late this year.
Feedback and queries are welcome at any time, and people can contact the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org or freephone 0508 P2G INFO (0508 724 4636)
For more information please contact:
Media Manager – Central
NZ Transport Agency
T: 04 894 5251
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