Cam­paign­ers cel­e­brate a win

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice - By SA­MAN­THA MO­TION

State High­way 2 cam­paign­ers are cel­e­brat­ing af­ter lo­cal trans­port de­ci­sion-mak­ers backed their bat­tle to fix the road.

Projects to im­prove or build by­passes around SH2 north of Tau­ranga re­ceived top billings on a re­vised high­way fund­ing pri­or­ity list agreed by a Bay of Plenty trans­port sub­com­mit­tee.

Be­fore the pub­lic had their say, the draft Re­gional Land Trans­port Plan pri­or­ity list had zero SH2-related projects in the top five.

Katikati Ur­ban (by­pass) has been moved from 15 to five on the pri­or­ity list.

Fix The Bloody Road cam­paign­ers said they could not have asked for a bet­ter re­sult. Spokesman Andrew Hol­lis said the sub­com­mit­tee’s back­ing felt like a vic­tory but it was not the end of the is­sue.

“It’s proof that get­ting a good team to­gether be­hind a good cause . . . can re­ally get things done.

“But the fight’s not over yet. The de­ci­sion comes down to the NZ Trans­port Agency, and they have the whole of New Zealand to plan for. We don’t know whether we are on NZTA’s pri­or­ity list or not.”

He had, how­ever, taken heart from a let­ter Trans­port Min­is­ter Phil Twyford sent to the re­gional coun­cil in which he said he was “com­mit­ted to ad­dress­ing State High­way 2”.

Bay of Plenty re­gional coun­cil­lor Stu­art Crosby, chair­man of the sub­com­mit­tee that re­vised the pri­or­ity list, said the pri­or­i­ties sent a clear mes­sage.

“We can’t let State High­way 2 lan­guish any longer.”

He said the sub­com­mit­tee’s rec­om­mended changes would go be­fore the full Re­gional Trans­port Com­mit­tee at ameet­ing on June 15 be­fore the plan could be rat­i­fied by the full coun­cil.

The fi­nal plan was due to be sent to Welling­ton by the end of June, where it will in­form NZ Trans­port Agency de­ci­sions about how to divvy up fund­ing from the Na­tional Land Trans­port Fund.

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