A Levin recreational pilot is urging roading bosses to concentrate on giving priority to a bypass of Ōtaki township.

Leo Cooney said while flying high above the road recently it became obvious to him that NZ Transport Agency should give priority to bypassing the Ōtaki township in its work on a new expressway.

The new road was an extension of the existing new expressway from Peka Peka to Ōtaki, and work was expected to be completed by 2021.

But after his flyover Cooney is convinced that if an Ōtaki township detour was finished in haste it would alleviate what was a daily gridlock for "miles" either side of the town.

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He believed NZTA should consider giving priority to completing the Ōtaki portion of the new Expressway first.

"Traffic congestion at Ōtaki over the Christmas - New Year period has been diabolical at times, again with reports of traffic banked up 10 to 20km at times, bumper to bumper on State Highway One, north and south of Ōtaki," he said.

Leo Cooney with grandson Iestyn in the Manawatu Aviation Club's Sky Arrow. WGP 06Oct17 - LEO Cooney with grandson Iestyn in the Manawatu Aviation Club's Sky Arrow. WGP 06Oct17 -
Leo Cooney with grandson Iestyn in the Manawatu Aviation Club's Sky Arrow. WGP 06Oct17 - LEO Cooney with grandson Iestyn in the Manawatu Aviation Club's Sky Arrow. WGP 06Oct17 -

Cooney said the photos showed progress at the Ōtaki end of the Expressway, with interchanges almost complete at Rahui Road and Ōtaki Gorge Road.

"I think it would be possible to open the Northern end of this new expressway first," he said.

"This will effectively bypass the bottle neck through Ōtaki."

Traffic south of the Ōtaki River could still use the old State Highway through Te Horo while the Pekapeka to Ōtaki River section is completed, he said.

"This will also make shopping and parking in Ōtaki railways outlet shopping precinct a safer and more recreational experience."