A major road through Auckland's industrial belt costing up to $1.8 billion gained approval today but will not go ahead after it was ditched by the new Government.

A board of inquiry into the east-west link connecting State Highway 1 at Mt Wellington to State Highway 20 at Onehunga has given approved in principle to use the land for the four-lane road.

The proposal, from the New Zealand Transport Agency and supported by the previous National Government, includes new local road connections within the Onehunga and Penrose areas and new, or upgraded, cycle and pedestrian facilities.

Labour and the Greens, who have long opposed the road and proposed a simpler and cheaper solution to the busy link, abandoned the project after coming into office.