The Save the Basin Campaign has announced that it will be contesting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s appeal against the Board of Inquiry decision to decline resource consent for a Basin Reserve flyover.
“Along with a number of other community groups, we have indicated our intention to be heard as an interested party in this appeal when it is heard in the High Court”, says spokesperson Joanna Newman. “That doesn’t mean we’re not extremely disappointed and frustrated. NZTA appears to have no interest in accepting a decision reached by a robust and democratic process established by this government to make good decisions on such projects. They seem to be perfectly happy to throw more taxpayer money down the drain in pursuit of their flyover obsession.”
The opposing community groups aim to work together, but taking such action has not been considered lightly, because of the costs involved. “We haven’t come so far only to sit back and allow NZTA to appeal the decision unopposed.”
Another source of disappointment to Save the Basin Campaign is that NZTA has not even allowed time to evaluate the impact of the recent opening of the Arras Tunnel under Buckle Street on Basin Reserve traffic flows. “It really does seem fixated on a flyover solution. The opinion of transport experts who gave evidence at the Board of Inquiry was that, with the introduction of three through lanes in Buckle Street and the removal of the Tory St intersection with Buckle St, the flow of traffic around the Basin Reserve would be greatly improved.”
“Evidence was also provided of opportunities to improve lane markings to optimise the existing roads around the Basin Reserve. NZTA, however, seems reluctant to explore these low cost opportunities, preferring instead to waste more money on legal fees to appeal the Board of Inquiry decision.”