The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford.
“Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in a bypass at Warkworth and ease the congestion pinch points.
“We would also fix up the local roads and bridges across the Far North that National has neglected and run down for the past six years.
“The Government’s $760 million plan is a duplicate gold-plated toll road that would only cut three minutes off the travelling time between Puhoi and Warkworth, on a road that outside of the summer holidays carries less traffic than many suburban arterials.
“The Board of Inquiry’s decision, under the Resource Management Act, was mostly a consideration of the motorway’s environmental effects.
“This draft decision by the Board of Inquiry does not mean the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway project is a good idea. The report did not even consider alternative solutions. It just took the Government’s word that this is the best option, even though no economic business case was presented.
“This National Government has a track record of spending bucket loads of cash on low-value motorway projects. National hand-picked their so-called Roads of National Significance back in 2008 without having done the economic analysis and since then have spent more than a billion dollars a year on them.”