Hutt News, August 19th, 2014
A claim by MP Trevor Mallard that 10,000 extra vehicles would travel daily along Petone Esplande from a Grenda link road has been rejected as scaremongering by political rival.
The Hutt South MP has dropped 500 leaflets to Petone and korokoro residents warning that a Petone-to-Grenada road would increase traffic and destroy the Korokoro valley and stream. He has posted video online making similar claims.
The NZ Tranpsort Agency is planning to build the $250 million road by 2024, aiming to reduce congestion on State Highways 1 and 2, cut seven kilometres from the route between Porirua and the Hutt Valley, and open a more direct route for industrial traffic between Wellington and Seaview.
The agency has rubbished Mallard’s figures; saying traffic on the Esplanade would increase by 2500 vehicles a day up from 24,000 a day now.
“There is no traffic modelling that supports a 10,000 vehicle per day increase scenario,” NZTA Wellington Highways manager Rod James said.
Previous route options would have gone through Korokoro, but none of the routes now being considered would destroy the valley stream. Even 2500 extra cars on the Petone waterfront would add to the constant traffic jams there, Mallard said.
“Traffic is backed up even at 3pm. It’s just awful.”
Mallard has argued that the Cross Valley Link and fixing congestion round Melling should be a higher priority.
Chris Bishop, National’s candidate for Hutt South, is strongly in support of the Grenda road, which h sees as crucial to the city. He said Mallard was spreading misinformation about the road.
“Mr Mallard is deliberately scaremongering about a project that received widespread support from residents during the public consultation process. It is also strongly supported by the Hutt City Council.”
The new link road had a ‘very large benefit cost ratio” and would help drive economic growth in the Valley and wider region, he said.
He agrees with Mallard that the Cross Valley Link is important but says it should ‘complement’ the Grenada road and not replace it.