National says it won't commit to making the Hawke's Bay Expressway four lanes if elected in 2020, but the project remains something it is interested in.

The party made a promise to four-lane the expressway before the 2017 election, but both its transport spokesman Chris Bishop and Tukituki MP Lawrence Yule say the promise hasn't been softened.

National announced on Monday 10 projects being considered under the second generation of its roads of national significance project.

Making the Napier to Hastings section of the expressway four lanes is one of the options, with Bishop saying more information will be released in 2020.


Bishop said people in Hawke's Bay should not see it as a softening of Bill English's pre-2017 election promise.

He said the party was still interested in the project.

"We're not committing to it," Bishop said.

"Next year we will announce a pipeline of projects that we want to get on with and a timeline for those projects.

"What we are doing at the moment is seeking feedback on what people think those projects should be.

"We are just simply saying you can't have all your Christmases all at once."

Yule, who in 2018 started a petition to see the expressway made into four lanes, said the new median barriers made the road safer, but had lost productivity on the route.

"Effectively we've slowed the traffic down and its difficult for ambulances and if there is tractor there."


He said he had wanted the four-laning to happen when the road was widened for the median barriers, even if the bridges were not included at that stage.

He said he remained committed to seeing a four-lane Hawke's Bay Expressway.

"I've been on to various transport spokespersons, including Chris Bishop, and out leader Simon Bridges, saying we need this.

"This is a key priority for Hawke's Bay and I want to make sure National does it."

Like Bishop, he did not see Monday's announcement as a softening of a previous 2017 promise.

"I'm pleased to say our project remains in the mix and is considered a strategic project for the National Party."