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Time to Reevaluate the Highway Access Policy: Petten
PC transportation critic Barry Petten said, “While the current policy suits larger highways, it is not suitable for provincial roads that run through municipalities where there is residential and commercial development.”
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Office of the Official Opposition 

For Immediate Release

 

St. John’s, NL (September 5, 2019) – PC transportation critic Barry Petten said it’s time for the Ball government to reevaluate the province’s highway access management policy and – this time – to listen to municipalities that are being hurt by the current policy.

“The current policy is less than two years old, having come into effect in November 2017, but the reason it’s not working is that the Ball government chose not to consult with municipalities while they were preparing it, and as a consequence, they got it wrong,” said Petten.

“It’s time for the government to listen to municipal leaders and develop a new highway access policy that takes into account the particular circumstances of certain municipalities and strikes a fair, reasonable balance that drives growth instead of hindering it,” said Petten.

The highway access policy governs the use of, and access to, certain roadways, restricting development with considerable red tape. The current policy is available online: https://www.roads.gov.nl.ca/Highway_Access_Policy_2017.PDF

Petten said, “While the current policy suits larger highways, it is not suitable for provincial roads that run through municipalities where there is residential and commercial development.”

Currently, the same policy is applied to highways with speed limits of 100 km/h and provincial roads in municipalities with 50 km/h speed limits.

“In some municipalities that are experiencing significant growth, the current policy is serving more as a roadblock to growth than a help. It’s proving to be a real headache for municipal leaders, citizens and businesses, and putting a damper on growth. Is that really the kind of policy we need in this province?” Petten asked.

“I think the government can do a whole lot better by going back to the drawing board and opening the door to the many municipal leaders who were ignored two years ago when they rolled out the plan they cobbled together in secret. It really does make a difference when you listen to people, and municipal leaders have information to provide that the Ball government ought to be paying attention to.”

 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell, Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668, (c) 1.709.685.3161

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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