Wgtn council rejects Takapu link road
Wellington City Council last week voted against proposals by NZ Transport Agency to build a link road through rural Takapu Valley or to widen the Porirua motorway through Tawa, but supported the proposed road from Petone to Grenada.
The council’s transport and urban development committee chairman, Andy Foster, said the planned Petone to Grenada road would improve the connection between southern Hutt Valley and Porirua and north Wellington, reduce pressure on Ngauranga Gorge, and provide a resilience option should an event affect the harbourside Hutt motorway.
He said at the city council meeting on April 14 that most councillors remained unconvinced by the need for the Takapu Valley road proposal, which was a late addition to the Petone-to-Grenada plan.
Councillors also opposed a NZ Transport Agency alternative plan to widen the motorway from the Tawa interchange north to the proposed Transmission Gully interchange at Kenepuru.
Foster said the vote acknowledged the strong community opposition to the roads.
‘‘These two proposals came out of the blue early last year, and were an unpleasant surprise to the councils and to residents,’’ he said.
‘‘Almost all the 1400 submissions NZ Transport Agency received opposed either option.
‘‘The council just does not think the case has been made for the Takapu link or the addition of lanes to the motorway.’’
He said both proposals would cause major disruption to communities along the routes, and the Takapu route in particular was assessed as having potentially significant adverse environmental effects.
Councillor Helene Ritchie, who is also a Northern ward representative, said the Takapu road was entirely unwanted and unnecessary.
She said four lanes were sufficient until 2031 and that the Takapu and Tawa links would not reduce congestion.
Raewyn Bleakley, the NZ Transport Agency regional director for the central region, said the agency welcomed Wellington City Council’s recognition and support of the strong community desire for the Petone-to-Grenada project.
She also noted the council resolutions rejecting both roading options.
‘‘We will be taking the time to understand the implications of these resolutions. We can confirm, however, that the detailed assessment still to come allows all options to be further assessed,’’ Bleakley said.