I’d left plenty of time for a trip to Dunedin on Monday in case the road was busy.
I needn’t have worried.
Traffic heading north was only intermittent and I drove more than 40 kilometres before I needed to pass another car travelling south.
There were more vehicles as I got closer to Dunedin but not enough to cause problems.
Reports from further north told a very different story, including an 8km queue of traffic near Otaki.
Holiday traffic exacerbates traffic problems but better roads aren’t just required to help people get in and out of cities more easily at long weekends.
. . . we have a lousy transport link between Wellington and the Horowhenua. You open that up, just like we’re doing with the Waikato Expressway south of Auckland, and suddenly businesses can develop along that highway in those towns leading to the capital city. The National Party’s very focused on that. We have actually got a number of projects underway – the Kapiti Expressway, Transmission Gully – but there’s a whole lot of people on the left who have got their heads in the sand about this, and I think it’s actually very sad, because they’re focussing on the area closer to Wellington, but I want to focus on those regions in Horowhenua and the Manawatu who would have great economic benefits out of that one piece of infrastructure. . .
The Opposition criticise money spent improving the road north of Auckland and labelled it the holiday highway.
It does provide access to and from some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. But it’s also the arterial route between Northland businesses and markets in the city, further south and, via the port, further afield.
If we want the country moving forward, literally and economically, we need better roads.