MP for Hutt South Chris Bishop is pushing for the NZ Transport Agency to prioritise an upgrade to the Major Drive, SH2 and Kennedy Good Intersection in Lower Hutt.
“A new housing subdivision is underway in Kelson, Lower Hutt, and the developers plan to seek resource consent for around 230 homes, to be progressively built over the next five years.
“While much needed new housing is welcome in the Hutt, this will place pressure on existing infrastructure, particularly in Kelson which has only one road (Major Drive) in and out of the suburb. There is real concern in the suburb about the new houses going in without a new intersection.
“The 2013 census located 987 occupied dwellings in Kelson, so an extra 230 houses is a 25 per cent increase. That is a significant increase and a proportionate infrastructure response is needed.
“The existing intersection Kelson/KGB intersection is a notorious choke point at peak times, and it is a safety risk. This will only get worse in coming years with the new subdivision.
“At the last election National committed to fast-tracking the design work necessary for a new intersection. At the end of last year I wrote to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and asked them to prioritise work on upgrading this intersection.
“Unfortunately, the NZTA chief executive has advised me that they only ‘expect to have business case investigations included in the next National Land Transport Programme for 2021-2024’.
“In other words, it could be at least five years before investigations into upgrading the interchange even begin, with construction many years after that.
“This week I have written to Mayor Ray Wallace asking him to direct his Council officials to work with NZTA to help them see the necessity of starting the upgrade work now.
“We need to get on with upgrading the intersection now, not in 2024 or in the years after that.”