Western Link Road is go

The Dom Post reports:

Two High Court appeals opposing the Kapiti Expressway have been lost.

Save Kapiti and the Alliance for a Sustainable Kapiti lodged appeals opposing a board of inquiry’s consent for the McKays Crossing to Peka Peka stretch of the planned road, but the High Court has dismissed the appeals on all grounds.

The alliance argued the board of inquiry’s consent made two errors of law: not including the as part of the baseline, and failing to consider the transport minister’s reasons for directing the matter to the board.

Save Kapiti argued the Western Link Road should have been included in considerations about the environment. The link road was a two-lane route planned for many years along roughly the same route as the expressway.

Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan applauded the court’s decisions. “Bring it on. It will bring a $500 million injection into this community.

“It has been a long conversation for the whole community – opponents and people who supported the road.

“The decision brings certainty. We need to get on with this road now, respectfully acknowledging those who had concerns and saw it through the process.”

It was due to local input, that the Government ended up doing the Western Link Road. Originally what was proposed was basically four-laning the current State Highway 1, but many locals were opposed to that, and hence the long sought after Western Link Road was then changed in design from two to four lanes to become the new SH1, and the existing section will become a local road.

Some locals are against any four lane road at all, which is their right. But they had to lose. The strategy is to have four lanes from the airport to Levin, and if just one short section has less than four lanes it destroys the flow of traffic on the rest of the network.

Labour’s Mana MP Kris Faafoi and transport spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway said the High Court decision did not change the fact the project was the wrong fit for the region.

“The Kapiti Expressway is emblematic of the way [this] government operates – running roughshod over the views of locals, ignoring the environmental consequences of transport projects, and throwing robust economic analysis out the window,” Mr Lees-Galloway said.

So Labour is for single lane congestion where the slowest vehicle on the road that day will set the speed for all traffic.

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