Mill Road gets the ‘go’, but is it enough?

Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced a $500 million upgrade for the Mill Road corridor as part of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project, on Thursday 26 April.

The money will be allocated to Mill Road in the next ten years and will work on stage one, at the northern end of the project. Phil said they would add capacity to the existing two-lane road, relieve congestion at intersections, make safety improvements at the north end, connect to the new special housing areas and provide a new interchange at Drury South.

“The update puts paid to National’s scaremongering: this Government is delivering the road upgrades Auckland needs as well as world-class rapid transit, without taking money away from the regions,” the Minister said.

However, National MPs Andrew Bayly and Judith Collins are hesitant about the announcement. “The first stage of the Mill Road upgrade, is a re-announcement of Auckland Council’s old plan for the first stage of the road but leaves the job largely completed. Last year the National Government announced it would complete the entire $1billion upgrade that would have four-laned the route starting at Manukau, going around Papakura (taking in Stevenson’s new industrial development at Drury) before rejoining the southern motorway between Drury and Ramarama,” they said. “The Government has scrapped most of that project by only promising to follow through on the first stage of the northern section – from Manukau to Alfriston School. This drop off point is a road to nowhere.”

MP for Hunua Andrew Bayly said, “for residents of Franklin, it means that the people of Pukekohe, Waiuku, Karaka, and Drury will face the same delays and congestion. The people of Papakura and Franklin will get less roading investment while billions of dollars will be diverted to a half funded, half planned tram from the CBD to the Airport.

Auckland Transport say phase one of the Mill Road project is a northern section from SH1 at Manukau to the intersection of Mill Road and Popes Road. Phase two, which is listed as a future priority, is a southern section from the Mill Road/Popes Road intersection to Papakura and Drury.

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