The Build Our Road campaign team is expecting to make big strides towards an expressway this month as the team has scored a meeting with Transport Minister Phil Twyford for November 20.
"We are thrilled that he has agreed to meet us," said Horowhenua New Zealand Trust Chairman and Build Our Road spokesman Antony Young. "The minister has indicated he wants to understand better what the situation is like for our community on the ground with the current roads."
He said the trust and the campaign team are going in with very clear goals on what they want to achieve and they will not be mincing words. "We want a further commitment from the minister on the time line for the designation of the expressway as well as for the consent work associated with that.
"As far as we and our community are concerned we would like work toward building that road to start as soon as possible and we will be asking him to move that timeframe forward."
That will not be all. "It is pretty clear to our community why the new road needs to be a four-lane expressway, rather than a two-lane highway as is currently planned. We want the four-lane expressway back on the plan."
Young said it is clear from all the issues on the existing SH1 what the safety risks are with a two-lane highway as opposed to a four-lane expressway.
"We are hoping to give him more local context on the challenges of the current situation, especially on a human level and the toll it is taking on people and business."
The team has been trying to get the minister's ear for some time. An earlier agreed meeting had been canned by Mr Twyford.