Today I have called on the Government to front up and tell Hutt Valley residents what is happening with the proposed new interchange at Melling.
The new Melling Interchange proposal is a critical project for the Hutt and it was considered by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) Board in mid-December. Since then there’s been total radio silence from NZTA and the Government over the project. Hutt residents deserve to know if this important project is going ahead or not.
This project has already been delayed by over a year thanks to this Government’s Transport Policy Statement which forced a re-evaluation of existing work.
Phil Twyford is happy to come out for photo ops to Melling and spout on about how it ‘ticks all the boxes’ – but he seems less keen to actually tell Hutt residents what is going on with this project.
National promised to fast-track this project at the 2017 Election and without it, the wider RiverLink flood protection project is at risk. RiverLink is focused on making better use of our wonderful Hutt River by upgrading its flood protection and transforming the Hutt CBD.
In early December I presented a petition signed by 2577 people to the NZTA asking it to fund the project. Melling becomes extremely congested at peak times and is a safety risk. The new interchange would be grade separated, like at Dowse and Haywards, allowing through traffic to flow freely and there would be a brand new, wider bridge over the Hutt River to the CBD.
Melling train station would be moved south, closer to the city, with more car parks, and the ability to extend the train line to Kelson/Belmont. This would also allow improvements to walking and cycling connections.
Years and years of work and millions of dollars have gone into Melling already. After more than a year’s delay, it’s time for action.
Hutt residents deserve certainty and they need a new and upgraded Melling Interchange.