Nick Smith - Nelson MP, Minister National Government

nick4nelson@parliament.govt.nz

MP and Mayor seek RoNS status for Link Road

28/06/2013

Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Aldo Miccio have jointly written to the Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee seeking Road of National Significance (RoNS) status for the completion of the link road in Nelson’s arterial roading system.

“Roads of National Significance are essential routes that require priority treatment. The Mayor and I are committed to seeking RoNS status of State Highway 6 from Annesbrook to the Port to recognise the importance of this road to Nelson’s future. RoNS status would mean the road would be given priority for funding and consenting,’’ Dr Smith says.

“The Southern Link road is as essential to Nelson’s future as the seven approved Roads of National Significance in Northland, two in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch. Our region’s population is growing at a similar rate to Auckland. If we do not match that growth with increased transport infrastructure, our city will become more congested, less efficient and a less pleasant place to live.”

Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio says this joint initiative is about Nelson’s economy, environment, safety, and resilience.

“We are a strongly growing export region that needs better infrastructure to support our port. The ongoing congestion problems in and out of Nelson is hurting the city and shifting retail and commercial activity to Richmond. I am a total enthusiast for the environmental enhancement of Rocks Roads with better cycle and pedestrian access ways, but it is not going to be safe or workable while thousands of heavy vehicles are powering past every day. The recent flooding and storm events also remind us that our roading networks need more resilience and Rocks Road is not the right long-term route for the State Highway,” Mr Miccio says.

“We recognise that Nelson is not as large or as significant as Auckland or the Capital but we are one of the fastest growing regions. The investment we are seeking is proportionate to our size, and without rail, we need an efficient roading system to support our export port and strong visitor industry.

“We are not expecting an immediate response. State highway planning occurs years in advance. This is about having a vision for Nelson’s long-term future and getting the national recognition for our long-term transport needs,” Mr Miccio and Dr Smith concluded.

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