No love for the Link

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - HAN­NAH BARTLETT

A ‘‘self­ish’’ and ’’anti-com­mu­nity’’ de­ci­sion based on ide­ol­ogy, not ev­i­dence.

Vic­tory Com­mu­nity Cen­tre board mem­ber He­len Wat­son has come out swing­ing over Na­tional’s an­nounce­ment that if re-elected, they’ll build the South­ern Link next term.

Prime Min­is­ter Bill English an­nounced in Nel­son on Tues­day that a re-elected Na­tional Party would start con­struc­tion of the road in the next par­lia­men­tary term, com­mit­ting up to $135 mil­lion to the project.

The South­ern Link, con­nect­ing the An­nes­brook Dr and Haven Rd round­abouts, is de­signed to ease con­ges­tion and im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity on the city’s ar­te­rial routes in­clud­ing the Rocks Rd sec­tion of State High­way 6, which snakes around the pic­turesque water­front and is pop­u­lar with walk­ers and cy­clists.

But Wat­son said it was a de­ci­sion made based on po­lit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy, with very lit­tle ev­i­dence that made a strong case for the South­ern Link.

‘‘We are re­ally con­cerned about the fact that the money, the $135m that’s been tagged for it - has been set aside and we think there are a whole lot of other com­mu­ni­ties that would be bet­ter served by that money,’’ Wat­son said.

She also serves as chair­per­son on the Vic­tory Pri­mary School board and said it would have a mas­sive im­pact on fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘We know there are up­wards of 1000 chil­dren go­ing to school or early child­hood in that small south­ern link cor­ri­dor be­tween Auck­land Point and Nel­son In­ter­me­di­ate School,’’ she said.

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