$13 million better spent on public transport than Eastern Highway

Auckland Green MP Keith Locke has criticised Auckland City’s transport committee for wasting $13 million on designing an Eastern Highway.

“The council would be wasting money on a highway I am convinced will never be built,” said Mr Locke, associate transport spokesperson for the Greens.

“The Eastern Highway makes no sense. It would only pour more cars into the centre of Auckland, and have a negative impact on communities and the environment.

“It is silly to push so many people out of their homes, when the best solution to congestion is to beef up rail and associated bus ferry services to the eastern suburbs,” he said.

Mr Locke said the Armstrong affair had exposed a powerful roading lobby itching to make money out of projects like the Eastern Highway.

“We’ve got to stop the motorway building steamroller,” he said.

“It’s not just the $13 million design cost that will be poured down the drain now, but the billion dollar construction cost which will follow.

“The Green Party is right behind the Stop the Eastern Motorway group in fighting this wrongheaded scheme, and we stand beside those whose homes are threatened by the construction.

“The Green Party is all in favour of spending $13 million dollars on designs to alleviate congestion – but it should be on designing better railway stations, improved rail and bus services and new cycleways,” said Mr Locke.