$8.7 billion plan for transport investment unveiled

  • Steven Joyce

An $8.7 billion programme of investment in New Zealand’s transport system has been detailed today with the launch of the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says this is the largest ever investment in the system and represents a 17 percent increase from the previous three-year period.

“This sustained boost to investment reflects the importance of transport to our economic prospects.

“This targeted investment will deliver real gains both in the short term – as we move out of recession – and in the longer term, by boosting the productivity we need to support prolonged economic growth.”

The $8.7 billion includes investment of:

• $4.6 billion in the state highway network (up 19%)

• $1.9 billion in local roads (up 14%)

• $900 million in key urban public transport networks (up 21%).

The $900 million in public transport investment is in addition to the $1.85 billion in capital investment currently being made into the Auckland and Wellington commuter rail networks.

Mr Joyce says the strong investment in the state highway network is a direct reflection on its ability to boost production and drive growth.

“The NLTP has prioritised routes that need work to reduce congestion, improve journey time reliability and improve key freight and tourism routes.

“In particular, priority had been given to advancing the roads of National Significance.

“Over the next three years, we will see significant progress on five of the seven of these vital routes, with all seven to be substantially advanced within ten years.”

Within three years:

• Victoria Park – project complete.

• Western Ring Route – construction started on the first stage of Waterview and the Lincoln Rd interchange.

• Waikato Expressway – work on the Te Rapa bypass underway this year, and construction on the Rangiriri and Ngurawhaia sections within 3 years.

• Tauranga Eastern Motorway – construction started on the Tauranga Eastern Link (if tolling is approved)

• Christchurch Southern Motorway – construction.

Design work continues on the Levin to Wellington corridor as does development work on the Puhoi to Wellsford section of State Highway 1.

Mr Joyce says the Roads of National Significance will be developed alongside key regional roads and public transport services.