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Published: 2007-10-04 00:00:00

The board of transport agency Transit New Zealand was today briefed on key Waikato roading and transport issues by Environment Waikato and greater Hamilton area local authorities, with all parties committing themselves to addressing problem areas as quickly as possible.

“Waikato clearly has very substantial transport issues that need addressing and we will work closely with our partners to progress things as promptly as we can,” said Transit chairman Bryan Jackson.

Environment Waikato chairman Jenni Vernon said the Transit board had shown good understanding of the depth and complexity of Waikato’s transport issues, which the regional council has a major role in managing.

“Our presentation received a very good hearing and I am confident the two parties will work together very cooperatively to progress strategies, such as the completion of the Waikato Expressway, which are so necessary to getting traffic moving more smoothly and safely through our region.”

Key points in Environment Waikato’s presentation included:

  • the need to substantially improve inter-regional transport links to help keep major freight volumes and passenger cars moving freely between Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty
  • the fact that significant work is needed to address Waikato having 20 of the nation’s worst 100 black spots for accidents, and the country’s highest fatal crash density
  • how the region is substantially boosting passenger bus services in Hamilton, and is looking to boost regional passenger transport services as well.

“We really want to start seeing more progress on key state highway projects, better road safety and more use of alternatives to passenger cars and road freight,” said Cr Vernon.

“The best way for us to do this is to work very closely with agencies such as Transit – which is to be merged with funder Land Transport NZ. We will continue to strongly advocate for roading and other transport solutions that keep freight and passengers moving more efficiently and safely throughout the Waikato.”