Leader of the National Party Todd Muller has announced that National is committed to building the Cambridge to Piarere expressway extension commencing their first term if they are elected in this year’s election.
The extension will include a 16 kilometre, four-lane expressway between the completed Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway (SH1) and the SH1 and SH29 intersection.
“This logical extension of the Waikato Expressway will help bring the country’s most important transport corridor between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga up to world-class standard,” Todd Muller says.
The Labour government previously dropped the plans to extend the expressway to Piarere in 2018, despite over $4 million of taxpayer money spent on business cases and plans.
Waikato MP, Tim van de Molen has advocated for the project since, organising campaigns, public meetings and petitions in favour of the upgrade. Tim believes the extension would greatly benefit the community creating better access to local attractions and ensuring safer and shorter commuting.
Tim says, “This project should already have started by now, we have recommitted to it because it is what the Waikato needs and deserves.”
The National government had planned to build the extension, prior to being ousted by the Labour-led coalition in 2017. The National Party will adopt these previous plans to continue the extension if they are re-elected. The Labour government currently has no money set aside for the project for the next ten years.
The extension will help improve access to local tourist attractions and maximise the opportunity for future growth in the area, Todd says. As one of New Zealand’s most dangerous stretches of road, the extension will also address major safety issues. It is expected the new extension will reduce the number of serious and deadly crashes by more than 70 per cent.
“After three years of no progress we need to get on with this expressway as soon as possible to ease congestion, save lives, create jobs and stimulate our economy”, Todd says.