Transport
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The official opening of the new Kopu Bridge today will come as a huge relief to both holiday motorists and those who rely on the route more regularly, says Transport Minister Steven Joyce.

"Work on the $47 million bridge replacement project was brought forward by three years as part of the government's $500 million Jobs and Growth plan.

"The project has created about 50 local jobs that would not have otherwise been there, as well as work for local companies involved in supplying materials and providing supporting services.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the opening of the Victoria Park Tunnel to two lanes of traffic today is a major milestone in the resolution of the last remaining major bottleneck in central Auckland’s motorway junction.

The third lane of the tunnel will open to northbound traffic in March next year. The Victoria Park flyover will open in a new southbound-only layout in early January 2012.

Mr Joyce says Victoria Park was advanced as a Road of National Significance in recognition of the contribution it could make to economic growth.

Steven Joyce Transport
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The salvage of the Rena, which has been grounded off the coast of Tauranga since 5 October, is moving into a new stage with Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) confirming today that almost all of the heavy fuel oil aboard has now been recovered.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce has congratulated Maritime NZ and the Svitzer salvage team for their work and commitment to what has been a very precarious operation.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed news that the $16.5 million safety makeover of the Rimutaka Hill Road is set to be finished in March, more than three months ahead of schedule.

He says the work, which was accelerated as part of the government’s $142.5 million Jobs and Growth package, will come as a relief to those who travel the notorious Rimutaka Hill Road.

"The upgrade will ease a number of tight curves, including Muldoon's Corner, about 500m south of the Rimutaka Summit.

Steven Joyce Transport
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The opening of the Victoria Park Tunnel will bring huge gains for Auckland and the wider New Zealand economy, through reduced congestion and faster, more reliable journey times, says Transport Minister Steven Joyce

The $340 million Victoria Park Tunnel project will increase the capacity of State Highway 1 between the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Newmarket, one of the country’s busiest freight and business routes.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce says while this year’s road toll is at a record low to date, there is no room for complacency on the roads this long weekend.

To date this year, 220 people have died on the roads.  This time last year the toll was 297.  The rolling 12 month total is 298 which is the first time it has been under 300 since 1952.

Mr Joyce says while the low toll is encouraging, there’s still a lot of work to do to reduce the level of death and injury on our roads.

Steven Joyce Communications and Information Technology Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce has signed a rule aimed at improving safety in the commercial adventure aviation industry.

“New Zealanders love their extreme sports, and we are a top adventure tourism destination. It is important that we have systems in place to ensure these activities are safe,” says Mr Joyce.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce has today welcomed the signing by Auckland Transport of a purchase contract for 57 new electric trains just weeks after the government sealed a rail funding and ownership deal with the region.

“This is another key milestone on our way to delivering a real step change in commuter rail travel in the region,” he says.

“We are on track for these new electric trains to start coming into service from the end of 2013.”

Steven Joyce Transport
Release

Construction on the Ngaruawahia Bypass section of the Waikato Expressway is now underway.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce, who today turned the first sod to officially mark the start of construction, says the Ngaruawahia Bypass, is a very important part of the expressway which has been classed as one of seven Roads of National Significance.

Mr Joyce says he is very pleased with the work on the Expressway to date.

Steven Joyce Transport
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The Government is about to begin a review of transport rules affecting agricultural contractors and vehicles, the Associate Transport Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.

“We want to make sure these rules are ensuring public safety without imposing unnecessary red-tape.

“Contractors and farmers need to harvest crops when they are ready, and when the weather is right. Sometimes this may mean working long and irregular hours. The current rules around work time and logbook requirements may not provide enough flexibility for what is a very important industry.

Nathan Guy Transport
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The option of using Clifford Bay in Marlborough as base for ferry terminal operations will be further investigated, Transport Minister Steven Joyce announced today. 

“An independent report commissioned by the Ministry of Transport found that there is a financial and economic case for progressing Clifford Bay,” says Mr Joyce.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed a decision by the Minister for the Environment to direct matters lodged for the Transmission Gully to a Board of Inquiry.

He says the milestone is a great step forward for the project, and means it remains on track for a construction start in 2015/16.

“Transmission Gully is a crucial section of the Wellington Northern Corridor Road of National Significance, which will give the whole lower North Island the vital transport link it needs to thrive economically.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce today announced the appointment of Mr Grant Lilly to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Board.

Mr Lilly’s appointment is for the period from 13 September 2011 to 31 August 2012.

“Since the middle of last year I have made several new appointments to the CAA Board to help increase efficiency and effectiveness at the CAA and to lead cultural change. The appointment of Grant Lilly further strengthens the mix of skills and experience on the Board and adds to its leadership and management capability,” says Mr Joyce.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce says a funding and ownership agreement between the government and Auckland Council will enable 50 percent more electric trains to be purchased for the Auckland network.

“Commuter rail is an increasingly important way for Aucklanders to get to work each day and this package will complete a massive $1.6 billion government-funded upgrade to the Auckland metro rail network.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce has signed a Rule that will change the give way rules at intersections from March 2012.

He says the changes will help reduce confusion on our roads by removing some of the demands the current rules place on drivers’ decision-making at intersections.

“A high profile education campaign will be carried out closer to the time to ensure drivers are aware of the new requirements and when they begin.”

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce has today released Connecting New Zealand, a summary of the government’s intended policy direction for transport over the next decade.

Mr Joyce says the government has been working hard to progress its three main areas of focus in transport policy: economic growth and productivity, value for money, and road safety.

Connecting New Zealand reinforces our commitment to these areas by clearly summarising how each of those aims impact on the different parts of the overall transport sector.”

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce today announced the appointment of Gill Cox to the Board of the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).

The appointment is for the period 1 September 2011 to 31 October 2013. Mr Cox replaces Mr Garry Moore, who retired as an NZTA Board member at the end of his term on 30 June 2011.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce has today confirmed the appointment of NZ Transport Agency Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield as interim Chair and Trustee of the Road Safety Trust.

The Road Safety Trust is a Crown-established charitable trust that funds community-based road safety initiatives, research, education, and other projects beneficial to road safety.  The Trust sets its priorities in line with the government's Safer Journeys road safety strategy.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Associate Transport Minister Nathan Guy is urging New Zealanders to heed the message of Rail Safety Week and take care around rail tracks and level crossings.

Since 2000, 42 car drivers or passengers have been killed and 171 injured in level crossing collisions. 18 pedestrians and cyclists have also been killed.

“Most of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented. Rail Safety Week challenges us to not add to these numbers,” says Mr Guy.

Nathan Guy Transport
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Transport Minister Steven Joyce has today welcomed the announcement of the winning contractor to construct the Waterview Connection, part of the Western Ring Route and the last big piece of the puzzle in Auckland’s motorway network.

Steven Joyce Transport
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Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Steven Joyce have this morning officially open the new Hobsonville motorway in Auckland – six months ahead of schedule.

The Hobsonville Motorway is part of the Western Ring Route – a 48 kilometre alternative to State Highway 1 running between Manukau and Albany via State Highways 20, 16 and 18.  The government has designated the route as a Road of National Significance in recognition of its importance to growth in Auckland and in the wider economy.

Steven Joyce Transport