$460 million investment for Northland transport network

Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced $460 million of investment in Northland’s transport network over the next three years, improving safety, building stronger links to keep communities connected and supporting economic opportunities.

The investment in Northland is detailed in the 2018/21 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), published today by the NZ Transport Agency. Additionally, $22m has so far been allocated to transport projects in Northland through the Provincial Growth Fund.

“Our investment in Northland through the NLTP will help create a land transport system that gives Northlanders better access to employment and education opportunities, supports the safe and reliable movement of freight and strengthens the resilience of important corridors to support tourism and keep communities connected,” Phil Twyford said.

“Safety is a top priority for the Government. $108 million will be invested in programmes and projects in Northland that will help save lives and reduce the number of serious injuries. Funding through the NLTP will also enable an investigation to be carried out into pedestrian safety improvements in Whangarei, and a programme of cycle skills education will be delivered in schools.

“Northland’s popularity as a tourist destination will be boosted by investment through the NLTP and the Provincial Growth Fund, to develop the Twin Coast Discovery Route connecting the East and West coasts.

“Walking and cycling amenities will also be developed to further boost regional tourism and promote healthier communities.

“Positive results are already being seen on the completed sections of the Onerahi Shared Path in Whangarei. The NLTP will support the delivery of sections of the Kamo and Raumanga routes to encourage people to use active travel options in preference to their cars.  Continued investment in great rides in Northland offers businesses great opportunities, and we will continue to support initiatives, such as the Twin Coast Cycle Trail,” Phil Twyford said.

“There will be renewed work to support safe and efficient freight movements to and from Port Marsden. The growth of forestry means the strategic importance of some routes can change quickly. The NLTP will support the development and improvement of the region’s High Productivity Motor Vehicle (HPMV) routes to move freight safely through the region.”

Phil Twyford said the NLTP will also provide funding for an investigation into the opportunities to carry more freight in the region by rail, enable the completion of improvements to SH1 through Whangarei, improving safety and traffic flows through the city centre.

The NLTP is a partnership between local government which invests local funding on behalf of ratepayers and the Transport Agency which invests national funding from petrol taxes, road user charges and vehicle registration and licensing fees through the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF).  The $460 million 2018/21 NLTP investment in Northland includes $350 million from the NLTF, with $109 million from local government.

“The NZ Transport Agency has worked closely with local government for several months to ensure the NLTP investments are carefully targeted to areas and activities where it’s needed most and delivers the best outcomes for the greatest number of people in the region,” Phil Twyford said.