Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.
“According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008
“The latest storm, which has lasted 12 days, has clearly demonstrated our roads are not up to the pressure of extreme wet weather.
“We also need to have reliable alternative state highway options when SH1 is closed – as happened just south of Kawakawa.
“Neither the Ruapekapeka or Mangakahia Roads, which were used as temporary alternative routes, were able to withstand the extra pressure of heavy truck use, while three slips closed SH1 at Brynderwyn over the weekend, putting pressure on both the Paparoa detour and Waipu Cove detour routes.
“With Northland moving $1.8 billion worth of goods by road each year, it is vital that at least one second ‘main artery’ is formed. An upgraded Mangakahia Road would be the obvious choice.
“Greater use also needs to be made of coastal shipping and rail – upgrading the rail line between Auckland and Northland and the Marsden Point rail link would both improve access to the North.
“At the recent Northland Mayoral Forum it was decided that MPs, the various district councils and the Northland Regional Council would work out a transport plan to meet the future transport needs of all of Northland after the general election.
“The storm shows we can’t wait. We have to get that plan underway now.”