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Published: 2002-03-19 00:00:00

Environment Waikato’s Regional Land Transport Committee wants State Highway One expressway as the number one strategic roading priority for the Region.

A special meeting of the Committee yesterday called for the Council to make the highway between Mercer and Cambridge the number one strategic priority for the Region. The Committee includes representatives of all district and city councils in the Region, Transit New Zealand, Police, Land Transport Safety Authority, commercial road users, Road Transport Association, New Zealand Rail, private road users, Transfund, Federated Farmers and cycle users.

Policy Group Manager Jeanette Black said the unanimous support from the Land Transport Committee was encouraging, as the project was so vital. As a key stakeholder in the Region with specific responsibilities for strategic land transport planning, Environment Waikato had a role in co-ordinating and facilitating a process to get the expressway completed. There was significant community and media interest in the expressway, she said.

A task group of mayors and Chief Executives of district councils affected by the expressway was formed earlier this month to ensure that plans for the expressway are stepped up.

There was unanimous agreement that re-commencement on the stalled Mercer to Longswamp section was vitally important. The group supported the construction timetable for Rangiriri to south Ohinewai and Taupiri to Horotiu. The group said the expressway between Mercer and Cambridge had strategic importance and its construction should be continuous.

Transit’s board meets on April 4 to discuss the expressway and the issue of the stalled Mercer to Longswamp section.