Mayor Jenny Rowan’s article entitled “Wake up call for Kāpiti” 2nd March (Kāpiti News) is indeed timely. Should a catastrophic event such as the Christchurch earthquake occur on the Kāpiti Coast there is no disaster separation between NZTA’s proposed expressway, State Highway 1 and the railway line from Peka Peka to Taylors Road, Ōtaki and in Ōtaki they may well run over or under one another. The NZTA bottleneck in Ōtaki means any kind of disaster here whether it be earthquake, derailment, tanker spill or massive traffic accident could block all south western North Island traffic between the Manawatu Gorge or Pahiatua Track and the Akatarawa Hill Road or Waikanae River Bridge.
The Mayor states “This is a big wakeup call for us all to prepare for an emergency here in Kāpiti” – indeed it is! An alternative, either East or West, alignment for the Expressway from Peka Peka would introduce disaster separation. This is a call to arms Kāpiti Coasters!