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Budget Crumbs For Auckland Roads

Posted on 25 May 2006

The 'Minister For Auckland' has been questioned in Parliament by Rodney Hide, MP for Epsom and the Leader of ACT, who says that Auckland missed out from the Budget's boost to transport funding.

"Last week's Budget provided an extra $1.3 billion for transport, but crumbs for Auckland's motorists", Mr Hide said.

"The only benefit for Aucklanders is that the Mangere Bridge will be 'substantially completed' by the end of 2011 rather than 2012.

"How many cars can use a 'substantially completed' bridge on an unfinished motorway?

"The benefits of the bridge will only be realised when the full motorway, including the Avondale Extension, is completed - and that is still a long way off.

"Traffic congestion in Auckland costs around $750 million a year.  The financial and environmental costs of going nowhere are rising.

"Every year of delay is costing massive returns and growth - worth around $830 million a year in the western corridor alone.

"Judith Tizard is voting for a Budget that sold Aucklanders short.

"In just five years, Auckland will host a Rugby World Cup final.  Thousands of extra visitors will need to travel around the city and get to the game on time.

"It's not good enough to hold them up at the boundary of Helen Clark's electorate, where the Western Ring Route has stalled.

"Government needs to start taking action on roading as if it were a national emergency - which it is now becoming.

"In Parliament, Judith Tizard could not identify a single Auckland Issue that she has resolved in seven years as Minister.  She should be fired", Mr Hide said.

ENDS