North Canterbury residents have been given a window of opportunity to voice their demands that the cancelled Belfast to Pegasus Northern Motorway roading project, including the Woodend Bypass, be re-instated, Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says.
“Government has been given a package of projects to consider that includes some of National’s Roads of National Significance, which Government previously cancelled, as part of necessary infrastructure spending to stimulate the economy,” Doocey said.
"Government is looking for roading projects it can get underway to meet its deadlines and we already have a package of vital roading projects, including our own Belfast to Pegasus motorway, which have already been drawn up by National. It makes sense to deliver on these.
“We have a window of opportunity for Waimakariri to voice its demands that this vital roading project is re-instated. People in Woodend tell me they don’t feel safe crossing State Highway 1 to get to the school or to catch the bus to attend medical appointments. Our residents want this project to happen and we should keep up the pressure.”
Doocey has expressed interest with the Make State Highway 1 Safer Committee in holding a protest march early next year to keep up the pressure on Government. "If our residents take to the streets in February, before Government makes a decision, we can send Government a very clear message."
In September, Doocey wrote an open letter to the Transport Minister urging him to reconsider his support for the project after $313 million was re-directed back into roading projects from the light rail budget when Government failed to meet its delivery targets. Doocey has also petitioned Parliament to save the roading project.
National announced the new four-lane motorway and Woodend Bypass in August 2017 as part of National’s second tranche of Roads of National Significance, following the Western Belfast Bypass and start of the Northern Corridor to address North Canterbury’s increased population growth after the earthquakes.