A strong focus on improving local and regional roads
In my last Grey Power column I mentioned my advocacy for local roading improvements at the Alison Street/ Kahikatea Drive intersection and Dinsdale roundabout. I’ve been receiving lots of feedback and support for my proposed improvements.
I’m also working on similar bottlenecks that are causes of frustration and safety risks at the Sandwich Road/Pukete Road intersection and the Avalon Drive/Norton Road/Rifle Range Road roundabout.
Recently our council has been considering lowering speed limits on several local roads. While I understand the case for some of those, I don’t agree that there’s a need to drop the limit on the Avalon bypass. That’s a safe route designed for 80/kmh – but we do need to improve the bottleneck that occurs at the Norton Road/Avalon Drive roundabout during peak traffic times. It’s a frequent source of frustration for city motorists, with slow crawls the norm for those on Norton Road approaching the roundabout in the late afternoon.
I’ve been a fan of adding traffic lights to control that roundabout, and the Dinsdale one, during morning and evening rush hour traffic for some time. Please let me know if you agree with me, or if you have other ideas for improving the traffic flows in any of these areas.
Major highways in our region also need fixing. Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens are great at talking but hopeless at delivering projects of any value. (Think KiwiBuild, Light Rail to Auckland Airport, their cancellation of the Waikato Expressway extension beyond Karapiro, and so on.) Recently MPs from those parties voted against my proposal in Parliament to get the Southern Links project underway. It’s a vital next step in improving Hamilton’s roading network to the south, to our airport and beyond. They oppose our projects but have delivered nothing of value in transport in our region since they took office.
Recently National reaffirmed our commitment to the extension of the Waikato Expressway by building the Cambridge to Piarere section, for which local National MPs have long advocated but the current government stopped.
After three years of no progress, we need to get on with this improvement as soon as possible. Extending the expressway toward the major export port of Tauranga will help stimulate economic activity for the whole country.
This is fantastic news for our region’s residents and all who drive through the central North Island. It will save lives, reduce emissions, delays and frustration, and create jobs. I know most of my constituents will be as delighted as I am.