Support the Kapiti Coast

Kapiti experiences significant traffic congestion.  The New Zealand Transport Agency has decided to build a four-lane expressway through the middle of our precious coastal community.  This is not a solution and would have dramatic impacts on many levels.

We request that the government rescinds its decision to build an expressway through the Kapiti community, and then works with the whole community in a consultative manner to develop a sustainable transport solution.

We, the undersigned, support[1]:

1.     Safety and flow improvement to State Highway 1
Along the current alignment, including four lanes as and when necessary, median barriers, removal of traffic lights etc.

2.     Two-Lane Community Link Road and Waikanae River bridge
Built NOW to provide significant relief to State Highway 1 with maximum local connectivity, fully integrated with the surrounding centres and environment;

3.     Continue improvement to  the Rail System
Support the efficiency of the road network through passenger and freight rail improvements including passenger services to Otaki and Palmerston North;


See attached letter for more information

[1]  From the package of transport options proposed by the Kapiti Coast District Council to the New Zealand Transport Agency.

'Bringing communities together'

Kapiti suffers from significant traffic congestion at peak times.  We need sustainable solutions soon.

The NZ Transport Agency has decided to build an expressway, designed to motorway specifications, through our precious coastal community.  The decision process has been divisive, manipulative, and lacking information. Instead of consulting the community about possible solutions to the problems, we were only offered a choice between three equally unacceptable expressway routes.    

The construction of a major expressway through the heart of the Kapiti district would drastically change the coastal suburban/rural character of our community.  It would have dramatic impacts, including community severance, noise, air pollution, and the destruction of waahi tapu and significant natural and cultural sites. Such an expressway would not address local traffic issues and would not provide through-traffic solutions for several years. This is not a solution.  

The Alliance for Sustainable Kapiti (ASK) is an informal alliance of community organisations and individuals who have united to preserve the character of Kapiti and its local communities, by opposing any new expressway and lobby for a sustainable approach to transport and development.

We believe that our local communities should not be sacrificed for the Minister of Transport's perceived national interest, and should be recognised as part of the overall environment and economy.

We support sustainable transport solutions which consider community interests and the Community Plan, as well as our obligations to lower our reliance on fossil fuels and to reduce greenhouse emissions at a local and national level.

These solutions include[1]:

1.    Safety and flow improvement to State Highway 1
Along the current alignment, including four lanes as and when necessary, median barriers, removal of traffic lights etc.;

2.    Two-Lane Community Link Road and Waikanae River bridge
Built NOW to provide significant relief to State Highway 1 with maximum local connectivity, fully integrated with the surrounding centres and environment;

3.    Continue improvement to the Rail System
Support the efficiency of the road network through passenger and freight rail improvements including passenger services to Otaki and Palmerston North;

 The decision

On 15 December 2009, the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) Board announced its decision for the "Sandhills" route as the preferred corridor for a new expressway.  NZTA provided very little information[2] to assess the actual path of the expressway and hence specific impacts on the community.

Likely impacts:

Any decision to proceed with the "Sandhills" route would result in[3]:

1. Continuing traffic delays until 2020, the likely completion date;

2. A four-lane 100kph motorway with major overbridges on the scale of Mackay's crossing through QE Park and through a residential region

3. Loss of dune lands, wetlands, native bush and waahi tapu;

4. Severance - a community further physically divided;

5. Loss of local connectivity provided by a two-lane Community Link Road, which means little improvement in travel times for people making local trips;

6. Poor connections for cyclists and walkers from the loss of major CWB route  (Cycleways/walkways/bridleways)

[1] From the KCDC's preferred solution submitted to the NZTA. For more information: http://www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/Documents/Downloads/Expressway/Expressway-NZTA-Submission-complete-final-30Oct09.pdf

[2] Based on an article from KCDC in the Kapiti News on 16 September 2009.

[3] http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/wellington-northern-corridor/docs/20091215-wgtn-rons-factsheet.pdf

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