Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller is echoing the frustrations of the local community who are petitioning both the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Transport Committee and the Government to commit to funding for State Highway 2.
“For this road to be listed at number 11 on the regional transport committees list of priorities is an utter disgrace. The community is outraged, and quite rightly so," says Todd.
“You don't need to see that statistics to know this stretch of road has the highest death and accident rate of any State Highway in New Zealand – all you need to see are the white crosses lining the sides of the road where families have lost loved ones."
Todd wants funding to go towards:
- a full continuous four lane expressway from Tauranga to Katikati;
- a grade-separated connection from Omokoroa onto State Highway 2 and;
- the Katikati Bypass.
“Every time you pull onto SH2 you get a real sense that you are taking your life into your hands.
“Under a National Government this stretch of road would have been treated as a Road of National Significance – because that is exactly what it is.
“Unfortunately the Labour Government doesn't share our view and is instead prioritising pet projects like trams in Auckland.
“The Minister of Transport, Phil Twyford, should come down from his office on the 6th floor of the Beehive and drive the road himself at 7.45 in the morning or at the very least front our community, look them in the eye, and explain why this road isn't a priority for his Government.
“I have a total appreciation of the frustration the community is feeling and my promise to them is that I will continue to push this issue as hard as I can in Wellington on their behalf."