The Government announcement setting up Crown Infrastructure Partners to accelerate investment in roading and water infrastructure for the Wainui Housing Development in Silverdale could make already bad traffic congestion even worse.
It is a slap in the face to local businesses who are crying out for urgent action to address the worsening congestion they are forced to endure every day.
It ignores a recent Chamber survey finding indicating that more than 90% of the 1000 respondents over a few days who want no more housing developments started in the area until certainty of an early construction start to the ‘ready to go’ Penlink Project is confirmed.
And it ignores the concerns of Silverdale business leaders who have been making persistent representations to Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and their elected representatives for action to address the traffic chaos and safety concerns on the Hibiscus Road Highway that bi-sects Silverdale’s retail and industrial areas.
The Chamber supports Government’s solution-based thinking to get needed transport and water infrastructure connected to proposed housing developments.
But it should be obvious to everyone that adding a further 5000 homes immediately to the Wainui housing development project without some certainty of a Penlink construction will result in bedlam for Silverdale businesses, some of whom are already concerned about the loss of customers because of the endless congestion.
The obvious answer is for Penlink to be included in the Wainui Housing Development acceleration project led by Crown Infrastructure Partners or for NZTA and Auckland Council to form a hybrid company with private sector partners to ensure Penlink traffic is removed from Silverdale ahead of the Wainui’s housing development completion.
Local businesses and the wider community deserve nothing less than certainty from their political and business leaders. The Auckland Chamber was asked by the local community to step up on Penlink. It has done so, and won’t step back until it gets the result local people want.
With the election looming, I encourage you to send a strong message to your political representatives to sort Penlink immediately – no more back-tracking, no more delay!