National will build the Belfast to Pegasus motorway - Bishop and Doocey

The next National Government will build the Belfast to Pegasus Motorway, including the Woodend Bypass, National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop and Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey have announced.

National campaigned in 2017 on constructing the motorway as a logical extension of the transformational Western Belfast Bypass and Northern Corridor motorways that the last National Government delivered.

"This new road will help drive jobs and growth in north Canterbury, and help our economy recover from Covid-19," Mr Bishop says.

"Northern Christchurch is experiencing strong growth and the Belfast to Pegasus motorway is a critical project to support that growth, reduce travel times, and improve safety."

"Sadly, Labour cancelled the project when in Government and NZTA have told residents it is not a high priority. Cantabrians deserve better and National will make sure this road is built.

Mr Doocey said he had campaigned for this motorway to be built for nearly three years, working with local residents on the Make SH1 Safer Committee.

"People have quite rightly had enough. It’s not safe for our children to run the gauntlet through 20,000 vehicles on SH1 to get to school, while the elderly have to somehow get themselves over SH1 to access public transport, medical appointments and shops.

"National’s Roads of National Significance are the safest roads in New Zealand. The new Belfast to Pegasus Motorway will greatly improve safety and quality of life for Woodend residents.

"Today’s announcement is the first of many projects making up National’s comprehensive transport plan, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks."

Belfast to Pegasus Motorway:

The starting point of the new motorway will be Belfast, where it joins with the Western Belfast Bypass and the Northern Corridor motorways. It will go through to Pegasus, bypassing Woodend.

It is expected the road will follow the current alignment of State Highway 1 north to Pineacres and then follow the eastern Woodend bypass route preferred by NZTA

NZTA will be asked to determine options for the alignment through the business case process, which will also finalise the cost of the road.

The new motorway will be a continuous four-lane state highway (two lanes each way) with separation from traffic in the other direction, grade-separated intersections, wide lanes and large, sealed shoulders on the road, safe roadsides, and high-standard landscaping.

Daily vehicle movements through the Woodend area have increased 20 per cent over the past three years, and this year is expected to reach 20,000 vehicle movements a day.

A recent report by the Automobile Association deemed SH1 through Woodend, north of Christchurch, as the most dangerous road in the region.