Waimakariri MP slams authorities for focusing on consultation, not safer roads

Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey has slammed the Government and transport agency for prioritising consultation over safety.

Doocey asked a raft of written parliamentary questions of transport Minister Michael Wood, seeking answers about plans for the highway between Kaiapoi and Waikuku.

However when responses were not provided, Doocey was forced to write to the speaker of the house in order to get his questions answered.

“This is exactly the problem. We have been asking for information, and action, for years, and yet it is never forthcoming.

“The people of Waimakariri deserve to know how much longer they have to wait.”

Doocey said when he finally received the responses to his questions he was alarmed to discover there was no funding for the works, which includes wire rope barriers from the Cam to the Ashley Rivers.

“So the transport agency has funding for the design, but not the build. It begs the question, what have they been doing for so long, and how much has this project cost in consultation?

“This is a very valid question for those residents living in Woodend, Pegasus and other communities with real safety concerns.”

With no funding for the actual works, the transport agency has no indicative start date and no idea when it will be completed. The work is also dependent on ‘project prioritisation and funding availability’, something Doocey said was deeply concerning.

“As we have seen time and time again, hardworking Canterbury commuters are being fleeced and forgotten under this government, as road users charges are siphoned off to pay for pet public transport projects in Auckland.

“This is not good enough, Waimakariri deserves safe roads just as much as anywhere else. I will keep fighting for safety for our communities until I see some action.”