He­lensville is ‘ob­scenely ne­glected’

North Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - DANIELLE CLENT

Trans­port is a sub­ject on the minds of many in the He­lensville elec­torate with pub­lic trans­port dif­fi­cult to ac­cess.

Can­di­dates run­ning for the seat have weighed in on what needs to be done to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion.

Com­mut­ing from Kumeu to One­hunga each day, NZ First can­di­date He­len Peter­son said she un­der­stood the ‘‘frus­tra­tions’’.

She said the elec­torate had been ‘‘ob­scenely ne­glected’’ for many years and more houses go­ing in were only con­tribut­ing to more cars on the road.

‘‘There is one lane in and one lane out of Kumeu and the rising pop­u­la­tion along with tourist num­bers means the roads are of­ten over­flow­ing and/or at a stand­still,’’ she said.

Peter­son said her party was a ‘‘strong’’ sup­porter of get­ting rail to the elec­torate, more park and rides and cy­cle­ways to help re­duce con­ges­tion.

ACT party can­di­date Alex Evans said both the ma­jor par­ties had made ‘‘big’’ prom­ises in terms of pub­lic trans­port.

He said the trick would be build­ing in­fra­struc­ture that could al­low a busway or light rail to West­gate to hap­pen.

‘‘ACT’s pol­icy to share half of the GST on con­struc­tion con­sented by Auck­land Coun­cil will help pro­vide the fund­ing,’’ he said.

Evans said the ‘‘iso­lated na­ture’’ of He­lensville meant more petrol was used, so those liv­ing in the elec­torate paid more in fuel tax. He said introducing con­ges­tion charges off­set by fuel taxes meant those who need to use their cars wouldn’t be taxed as much as those who had eas­ier ac­cess to pub­lic trans­port.

Labour’s Kurt Tao­gaga agreed the way of im­prov­ing trans­port in the elec­torate was to in­vest in the right type of in­fra­struc­ture.

‘‘The suc­cess of the North­ern Busway and the trans­for­ma­tional ef­fects of the City Rail Link, once opened, will prove that ap­pro­pri­ate in­vest­ment in pub­lic trans­port projects are our best hope to im­prove peo­ple’s daily com­mutes,’’ he said.

Tao­gaga said his party wanted to build a ‘‘bal­anced’’ network that of­fered trans­port choices to ev­ery­one in Auck­land.

Na­tional’s Chris Penk and the Green’s Hay­ley Holt did not re­spond in time for this ar­ti­cle.

How­ever, Penk has pre­vi­ously said he sup­ported get­ting rail out to Hua­pai, whereas Holt was more in support of light rail.

CAL­LUM MCGIL­LIVRAY/STUFF

Labour’s can­di­date Kurt Tao­gaga says in­vest­ing in in­fra­struc­ture will help im­prove trans­port prob­lems in He­lensville.

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