“Our residents don’t feel safe,” Waimak MP tells select committee

Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says Government needs to listen to North Canterbury residents’ safety concerns following yet another crash on State Highway 1 in Woodend.

Today, Doocey submitted to the Transport and Infrastructure select committee at 9.10am to get Government to deliver on the Belfast to Pegasus motorway extension and Woodend Bypass following his petition to Parliament.

“This project was promised by National last year as part of the second generation of Roads of National Significance following the success of the Christchurch motorway projects, which are delivering safer journeys and shorter travel times,” Doocey said.

“North Canterbury’s strong residential and industrial growth following the earthquakes has put further pressure on State Highway 1 between Belfast and Pegasus Town when it was already at breaking point.”

Doocey said National’s announcement last year of a continuous four-lane highway with separation of traffic from the other direction and a Woodend Bypass had been received by residents with relief.

Residents had been devastated when the project was left out of the New Zealand Transport Agency’s 10-year plan following the coalition Government’s shift in focus onto Auckland public transport projects, Doocey said.

“Recently, residents were shaken by a crash when a fuel tanker and truck collided at Woodend. Heavy vehicles, including freight, are travelling through Woodend, past the school and residents’ houses, and residents are frankly too scared to try cross over State Highway 1. We cannot wait any longer for a commitment to this important roading project.

“Residents have spoken out time and again, and have no appetite to be going through yet another round of safety consultations. How much more do they have to say when accidents like these are making headlines all the time?” Doocey asked.