Bypass for Helensville?

Te Awaroa Residents & Ratepayers Association is promoting a petition worded “We support Te Awaroa Residents & Ratepayers Association Incorporated requesting that New Zealand Transport Agency, Auckland Transport/Auckland Council construct a bypass road/bridge between the Helensville/Parakai roundabout and the Mt Rex area. We want State Highway 16 between Baker Street and West Street to become local road, with the use of this stretch of road by heavy trucks impeded.”
This proposal has been around for more than 20 years, in response to the danger and noise imposed on our community by the preponderance of heavy trucks travelling through our village. Yes, village. Imagine the centre of our township without them. We could enjoy conversations uninterrupted, and maybe have a ‘shared space’ pedestrianised section of road.
Of course there has always been concern that businesses will suffer a downturn, but in places where such a bypass has been implemented (Waipu, Pokeno) the initial negative impact on trade has been recovered and the town centres have become thriving. A more environmentally attractive town centre would draw visitors and locals alike to spend time there.
With the traffic congestion through Kumeu, much traffic now ‘bypasses’ via Old North Road. There is significant pressure to create a formal bypass via this route, providing for all traffic including trucks. This would mean Kumeu/Huapai, Waimauku and Helensville/Parakai would potentially lose all passing traffic, significantly impacting on businesses.
Our proposal would remove the heavy trucks, but allow for visitor traffic to be aware of our twin townships as an optional stop.
With Winstones, Atlas Concrete, and HiWay Stabilisers based in the vicinity, it has been suggested a Public Private Partnership deal could be created. Unfortunately the terrain (river floodplain) demands a bridge rather than just a road, making the proposal relatively expensive.
Bottom line: an Old North Road diversion would be near fatal for business and we need to do all we can to prevent that. For that route to service heavy trucks a great deal of cost would have to go into improving the road (too bendy, too steep, in places). Let’s get our local bypass instead and revive our township.
The petition is available to sign at Helensville Copy & Print.

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