We were wondering what Transmission Gully Road would do to Wellington traffic flows once completed? Transmission Gully will shift the main Wellington northern corridor east, bissecting SH58 at Judgeford. What would this mean if you were a truck heading north from Wellington? Save for a few traffic lights on SH2, your route is clearly much better via SH2 and SH58 for fuel economy and wear and tear (see blue line below). So why are NZTA saying they need to invest $50-150m on extra capacity between Tawa and Porirua (SH1 widening or bulldozing rural Takapu Valley to make a ridiculous short parallel motorway), when for much less money they could remove traffic lights and fix a few bad corners on SH58?
Transmission Gully changes to traffic flows SH1 vs SH2 north from Wellington
These sudden proposals (options C and D) have arrived without Council knowledge and have totally circumvented the regional and district planning process. It’s clear to see that they’re being rushed through with haste by NZTA with no regard to wider regional needs. We say build Transmission Gully, and build Petone to Grenada Road if necessary, but wait to see what will happen before destroying communities and a whole rural valley.
NZTA tell us traffic volumes are going to miraculously skyrocket after Transmission Gully sending much more traffic past Tawa. We find this incredibly hard to imagine given traffic volumes have been dropping in Wellington, and when this elevation infographic diagram above suggests that Hutt Traffic (and possibly much Wellington Traffic) will prefer SH2/SH58 (over SH1 past Tawa) to Levin and beyond, further reducing flows.
Overall, this adhoc major infrastructure building by NZTA in road project silos is not serving the Wellington Region well. All these roads need to be put through a proper established strategic planning framework.
We’re slowly uncovering considerable incompetence by NZTA (such as watching WCC grant consent for a whole subdivision soon to be bulldozed – that could cost WCC ratepayers dearly I’d think), and an intrinsic culture of lies and deceit to the public and landowners. We’ll be documenting this more, one action with possible criminal implications. Not to mention the unethical and immoral strategy of playing neighbours and communities off against each other to do their work. Questions need to be asked of this Government Department and it’s Chief Executive that condones such behaviour, paid for by the tax payer. Peter Dunne is right to be concerned by this behaviour.
Ōhariu MP Peter Dunne is calling on NZTA to drop altogether proposals for a link road between the Transmission Gully Highway and the planned Petone to Grenada road “until it gets its act together.”
Mr Dunne says NZTA’s handling of the link road plan which emerged only three weeks ago has been a “public relations and planning disaster from the outset.”
“I think the plan is now doomed because of its own incompetence, and the sooner it is dropped altogether, the better.
“First off, was the announcement that the preferred option was to slice a link road through Takapu Valley, understandably angering the 80 odd residents who live there, and who had no idea that was being considered.
“Then, NZTA refused to front angry residents at a site meeting, saying it was not ready to talk to them yet, and would prefer to do so on a one-on-one basis anyway.
“Next was the announcement that if they could not proceed with the Takapu Valley option, NZTA would callously play communities off against each other by widening State Highway One by Tawa instead, affecting about 40 properties.
“That brinkmanship is simply disgraceful.
“Now comes this week’s news that people buying sections in a new subdivision at the top of Grenada Village find the proposed road cuts right through the land they are in the process of buying.
“NZTA was even not aware of that until I raised it with them earlier this week.
“These are inept blunderbuss tactics of the worst type – despite its assurances to me personally and in public, NZTA seems to have no comprehension of, or concern about the impact of its cavalier announcements on local resident who stand to be seriously adversely affected.
“In the circumstances, NZTA’s only credible option is to can the plan now, go back to its drawing board, and work with the local community, the Tawa Community Board, and the Wellington City Council on the best way forward,” Mr Dunne says.
Peter Dunne stands up on the appalling behaviour of NZTA on Twitter | 1 Feb 2014
Ōhariu MP Peter Dunne is seeking a full briefing from NZTA on its roading plans that are likely have an impact on Takapu Valley residents.
Mr Dunne says he first became aware of the specific proposals yesterday, and shares the concern being expressed by Takapu valley residents.
“Proposals like this which come like a bolt from the blue are understandably very disruptive of people’s lives and need to be handled with sensitivity, something government agencies are often not very good at”.
“However, it is not entirely clear how firm the plans are, which is why I want a full and urgent briefing from NZTA”.
“In particular, I want to know:
The actual status of the proposals currently being reported;
How, if at all, this proposal is linked to the development of the Transmission Gully highway;
The current status of the Petone to Grenada link road proposals;
The time frame for and projected cost of the construction of any link road through Takapu Valley;
The process and time frames for reaching any decision on the proposal;
What alternatives and other options might be considered;