Long-neglected road repairs must be part of virus response - AA

The AA is urging the Government to finally repair SH4 (“the Paraparas”) as part of the Covid-19 economic recovery package.

5 May 2020

Long-neglected road repairs must be part of virus response - AA

The AA is urging the Government to finally repair SH4 (“the Paraparas”) as part of the Covid-19 economic recovery package.

The highway still has slip damage not fixed from flooding in 2015 and the AA Whanganui district has called for the work to be included on the list of infrastructure projects pushed forward by the Government to help stimulate the economy in the wake of the pandemic.

“It’s hugely disappointing that nearly five years on from the original flooding there are still parts of SH4 waiting to be repaired. NZTA’s quick response to the major slip on the Paraparas late in 2019 shows a fix can be done if there is the will to act. This is a key economic route for local and regional road users, and its current state suggests that provincial New Zealand has not had the transport investment it deserves,” says AA Whanganui chair John Unsworth.

“Now is the opportunity to put that right.”

A recent survey of AA Members throughout the country found that road maintenance and improvement was the major transport area where respondents wanted more investment from Government. About 70% of Whanganui respondents said the quality of the road surface and wasting money through repeat work were their greatest concerns around road maintenance.

“The AA has been increasingly concerned about road maintenance not being kept up to standard in recent years and the Government cannot afford to miss the opportunity now to deliver long-needed transport improvements in the Whanganui region.”

“The recovery from the current crisis gives us the chance to take a big step forward in the safety and quality of roads right around the country.”

The Whanganui and Manawatu AA districts are also jointly urging that upgrades to SH1 at the Ohakea air base be part of the virus response.

With more Royal New Zealand Air Force vehicles about to start operating out of Ohakea the amount of traffic coming on-and-off the highway at the base is increasing. Up til now, the plans for dealing with this have been to close the passing lane and reduce the speed limit.

“There is no way we should be compromising our main highway – literally New Zealand’s number one road for moving people and freight – when we don’t have to,” says John.

“Instead of downgrading the highway at Ohakea the current situation has opened the door for the Government to invest in doing the job properly, rather than taking cheap short-cuts.

“The AA is calling for a plan to safely handle increased traffic in and out of the base while still keeping our main highway up to the standards it should be. It doesn’t have to be one or the other – we can have both.”

Other AA districts around the country have identified similarly needed local transport projects while at a national level the AA has called on the Government to super-charge investment in key areas of road safety and maintenance.

 

For more information contact:

John Unsworth
AA Whanganui District Chairperson
New Zealand Automobile Association
M. 027 241 5780
E. : [email protected]

 

The New Zealand Automobile Association is an incorporated society with more than 1.7 million Members. It represents the interests of road users who collectively pay more than $2 billion in taxes each year through fuels excise, road user charges and GST.

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