Eastern Highway will never fly

Auckland Green MP Keith Locke described today’s Eastern Transport Corridor announcement as a debacle for proponents of the plan.

The preferred option, presented today by consultants Opus to Mayors John Banks and Sir Barry Curtis, would see up to 1500 homes demolished to make way for more roading.

“Rather than advancing the project, today’s recommendations put another nail in its coffin,” said Mr Locke, the Green Party’s associate Transport spokesperson.

“There is no way the public will allow between $2.8 billion and $3.9 billion to be spent on a highway that is going to destroy homes and green space, and pour thousands more cars into central Auckland.

“The Auckland and Manukau mayors can’t justify today’s recommendation by arguing it is better than the other options, put up to divert attention from the main game. Promoting the proposal as multi-modal won’t fool many people. Everyone knows the two mayors are promoting a highway.

“Luckily for Auckland, their project is doomed to failure. There’s no way the Eastern Highway would meet the economic, environmental, health and mobility criteria in the new Land Transport Management Act,” said Mr Locke.

“The best option is still to improve and extend the corridor’s rail system and get more people travelling by train.”