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Disappointment at Peka Peka interchange decision

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Kāpiti Coast District Council Mayor K Gurunathan says Council is disappointed by the NZ Transport Agency’s decision not to include a second Expressway interchange at Peka Peka in the final designs for the Peka Peka to Ōtaki section.

"Local residents and businesses will also be particularly disappointed," he said.

"I’m glad the Agency will be fronting up to the local community at a public meeting next Thursday and I encourage locals to turn up."

He said the Agency will provide further information to the community to help them engage before the public meeting.

"As a supporter of the full interchange for the community we have requested the Agency to future proof the potential for an interchange by ensuring the required land is secured and retained. Another long term option is to represent the interests of the community for this interchange at the next regional land transport committee meeting.

"Those who are frustrated by the lack of direct local connections to the new SH1 route heading south have further concerns that the situation will be worse once the local road connections in the area are reduced with the SH1 route having no direct exit past Waikanae until traffic reaches Ōtaki," Mayor Gurunathan said.

"However we understand the range of factors the Agency has needed to consider. They have heard the concerns and debate on both sides, which included those who had a preference to retain more of the semi-rural nature of the area.

"They’ve made a difficult call given some of the community feedback and we are grateful for the continued engagement of the Agency with us through all the Expressway developments.

"We will continue to support the right decisions for the economic and social development of our growing community."

Ōtaki Ward Councillor James Cootes echoed the Mayor’s comments saying he’s naturally disappointed but not surprised.

"A lot of work had gone into securing the Peka Peka interchange however this has been superseded by the changes in government and transport priorities.

"We’ve had some wins over the shared pathway and "hush seal" but unfortunately not the interchange," he said.

Councillor Cootes expects the issue will be a hot topic for the community at the next central government elections, along with things like housing and affordability.

"I will continue to advocate on behalf of our community for improved transport options," he said.

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