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Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says the gains made by National to boost the country’s regional roads should not be squandered because of Labour’s attempt to divert funding.

“Waimakariri commuters were excited to hear this year that a new Christchurch Northern Motorway from Belfast to Pegasus would complement the major roading projects that are already being delivered by ensuring smooth flow of traffic right up to Pegasus Town.”

The project addressed congestion issues arising from Waimakariri electorate’s rapid growth, Doocey said.

“Every day I receive positive feedback on how the Western Belfast Bypass is shortening travel time for our commuters. The Belfast to Pegasus motorway completes the package of roading solutions to deliver reliable travel times for our commuters.”

Doocey said Labour’s review of the project took away certainty for a date to be set for the Woodend Bypass, which was to be included in the works.

“In my first term as Member of Parliament for Waimakariri, the need for a commitment to a Woodend Bypass was raised with me by a range of community groups and individuals who want to see heavy freight and traffic volumes moved out of the centre of Woodend township,” Doocey said.

Over winter, Doocey petitioned for a third lane southbound over the Waimak Bridge, with Environment Canterbury approving the project in September. Doocey said the high-occupancy lane was expected to start at Tram Road and would encourage carpooling and public transport use. It would also include a cycle facility to connect with the wider cycle network on either side of the bridge.

“I think our residents would find it hard to understand why their needs for safe journeys were not being prioritised in favour of a few big ticket items,” Doocey said.

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