Wellington Anniversary Weekend will bring traffic through Horowhenua to a standstill which is why a four-lane expressway from Ōtaki to north of Levin is needed now, said National Party Candidate for Ōtaki Tim Costley, who is ramping up his campaign for the four-lane expressway from Ōtaki to north of Levin.
Costley launched a petition in November to urge the Government to reconsider the plans to downgrade and delay the expressway. He will be at the Horowhenua AP&I Show to garner more signatures, which so far has generated 2000.
He's also posted a sign in Ōhau stating that the Expressway needs to be done now.
"Labour cancelled the Horowhenua Expressway as soon as they could. They are only willing to consider a two-lane bypass in 10 years' time, but will not commit any funding to the project. Without funding this is an empty promise, and it has left locals outraged and frustrated, Costley said.
"Horowhenua can't afford to spend another decade in limbo.
"The current stretch of SH1 from Ōtaki to Levin is one of the most dangerous in the country. Recently released data from NZTA shows the crash and fatality rate is as high as other notorious hotspots like SH1 from Auckland to Kerikeri.
"New roads built by the last National Government, such as the Kāpiti Expressway, are some of the safest in New Zealand. There have been no deaths on the Kāpiti Expressway as well as SH2 Eastern Link and SH1 Cambridge section since they opened, and both have 110km/hr speed limits.
"We know that these new expressways save lives. For the Government to say they are serious about reducing the road toll by 40 per cent but cancel this life-saving road, is absolute hypocrisy.
"It is clear the current Government simply doesn't care about our region, instead, it is more enamoured with a slow tram in Auckland.
"National on the other hand will deliver the world-class infrastructure Kiwis deserve for all the tax they are paying, instead of the broken promises and uncertainty they get from this Government. National also included a new four-lane highway as a Road of National Significance.
"I have a petition calling on the Government to respect regional New Zealand and build the Horowhenua Expressway. There is huge local support, the Horowhenua and Kāpiti community are crying out for this road to be built. We can send a strong message to Labour by collecting thousands more signatures."
The petition will run online all through summer (www.national.org.nz/build_the_horowhenua_expressway), with paper copies in local businesses and cafes around Levin and Ōtaki.