Banks buys a fight over motorway madness

Auckland Green MP Keith Locke says the Eastern Highway is not a done deal.

“Before making grand announcements about the construction of new motorways, John Banks should remember that Aucklanders elected him Mayor — not King,” said Mr Locke, the Green Associate Transport Spokesperson.

“He has only one vote on a diverse council. The proposal for an Eastern Highway has still to go before the Auckland and Manukau councils, and there will be a lot of public input.

“It makes no sense to build a new motorway to pour more cars into the centre of Auckland.

“Beefing up public transport for commuters is the priority. Train services down the eastern corridor arriving at ten minute intervals, with efficient bus connectors, would do the most to ease the rush-hour congestion.

“It illusory to think that a new six-lane highway would reduce traffic jams in the eastern suburbs. It would only encourage more people to use their cars and cause gridlock in roads around the main interchanges at places like St Johns and Pakuranga.

“The highway would divide communities, and destroy the beauty and quiet of the waterfront, particular around Hobson Bay.

“We have a mayor who wants to change Auckland from the ‘City of Sails’ to the ‘City of Cars,’ but he has a big fight on his hands,” warned Mr Locke.

“The community opposition is considerable, and the Green Party will be a part of that. At the parliamentary level I and other Green MPs will be working with the Government on a transport strategy. We hope a result of that will be to deny public funding to such ‘dinosaur’ projects.”