Southern Link groups rally support

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Feedback on the Southern Link Investigation closed on Sunday, and groups who are both for and against the controversial new road made a mad, last-minute dash last week to prompt Nelsonians to have their say.

Anti-link lobby group Nelsust sent out a chain email last week, urging people to send their feedback against the link in to NZTA, as well as asking people to visit the ‘Stop the Southern Link’ Facebook page.

The group’s spokesperson, Peter Olorenshaw, urged the importance of “getting as many people as possible feeding back against the Southern link” and asked people to forward the email to “any and every Nelsonian” they knew.

Similarly, pro-link lobby group, Progress Nelson Tasman, circulated a chain email out to Nelson residents last week, asking people to show their support by giving feedback supporting the creation of a new arterial route.

The NZTA also held seven public information sessions in April at a range of venues in Nelson, Stoke and Richmond, which Raewyn Bleakley, NZTA’s central regional director, says were attended by around 250 people.

She says that sessions gave them the opportunity to hear from a range of perspectives.

“People were interested in the information that the Transport Agency was able to provide at the meetings, and appreciated the opportunity to be able to have their say,” she says.

The project is currently in the programme business case stage of the investigation, and Raewyn says there are two further important phases of the business case approach to complete.

“The next phase would be the indicative business case (stage three), which develops the case further for one or two preferred options, and the last phase would be the detailed business case, which would develop a final option in more detail,” she says.

“Each phase of the investigation is subject to approvals, which determine if it will proceed to the next stage. The approval process also assists in providing a level of confidence that the final proposal will meet any relevant consenting requirements.”