East-West Link aims to un­clog One­hunga and Pen­rose

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Fol­low­ing the outcry the NZ Trans­port Agency and Auck­land Trans­port have now pledged to in­stead work on im­prov­ing con­nec­tions for the bustling busi­ness area of One­hunga and Pen­rose.

Pre­cisely how this will be done is yet to be worked out but Auck­land Trans­port spokesman Rick Walden says ef­forts so far sup­port ‘‘fo­cus­ing our ef­forts to the north of Manukau Har­bour’’.

‘‘This is likely to solve a num­ber of trans­port-re­lated is­sues in the eco­nom­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant area of Auck­land,’’ Mr Walden says.

‘‘Our fo­cus on the north side is the key pri­or­ity for our two or­gan­i­sa­tions for at least the next decade.’’

No new ma­jor road links will be built on the south side of the Manukau Har­bour be­tween state high­ways 1 and 20 ‘‘at this stage’’, al­though as the city grows in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment will be re­quired in fu­ture.

‘‘This will be wel­comed by com­mu­ni­ties in the south who have ex­pressed con­cerns re­gard­ing the po­ten­tial im­pacts of the East-West Link.’’

NZ Trans­port Agency act­ing Auck­land high­ways man­ager Steve Mut­ton says im­prov­ing freight ac­cess around One­hunga and Pen­rose will be an im­por­tant com­po­nent of im­prov­ing and grow­ing Auck­land’s econ­omy.

‘‘This area is Auck­land’s in­dus­trial heart­land em­ploy­ing some 60,000 peo­ple and grow.

‘‘En­sur­ing freight has safe and ef­fi­cient con­nec­tions to and from the state high­ways is a key pri­or­ity for us.’’

He says im­prove­ments be­ing con­sid­ered for the area will pro­vide bet­ter ac­cess for freight and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles to the state high­way net­work while keep­ing other road users safe.

‘‘Our stud­ies show that many of the ben­e­fits can be re­alised with­out ma­jor road-

it con­tin­ues to ing in­vest­ments to the south side of the Manukau Har­bour,’’ he says.

Fur­ther work is re­quired to de­ter­mine the pre­ferred op­tion and any likely im­pacts.

‘‘We’ll con­tinue to work with our stake­hold­ers and cus­tomers as th­ese in­ves­ti­ga­tions progress to make sure we get the best pos­si­ble so­lu­tions in place for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and Auck­land as a whole,’’ Mr Mut­ton says.

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