Expressway and Health

Scoop report lambasts KCDC councillors and mayor

By the Editor, Alan Tristram

The popular online epaper ‘Wellington Scoop’ reports that the vote by Kapiti councillors to support the building of a four-lane expressway through their quiet suburbs seems to be in conflict with a damning report about health dangers for local residents.

The Kapiti Coast District Council last week voted to support the expressway.

Yet,says Scoop, the health report, released ten days before the vote was taken, gives examples of how the new road is likely to affect health.

The expressway will be within 200 metres of more than 1300 Kapiti homes. The health report says that most households interviewed along the route have a health condition which would be exacerbated by being next to the new motorway.

Since the report was released, local GP Rob Kieboom has stated more concerns. He quotes a World Health Organisation warning that diesel fumes are carcinogenic. Exposure to the fumes “can lead to increases in lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and heart attacks,” says the doctor.

He adds: “It is insane to move more than 20,000 vehicles a day off State Highway 1 on the periphery of the district and put them smack in the middle of suburbia.”

Which is a serious challenge to the Kapiti Council’s decision to support the new road and to the Transport Agency’s insistence that it should be built.