Canterbury Transport Project receives funding boost

  • Annette King

The Canterbury region will receive $33.5 million in funding over the next four years (2008 -2012) to invest in transport infrastructure, Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Transport Minister Annette King announced today.


Dr Cullen said the Budget 2008 package will provide funding assistance to the Canterbury Transport Project - a collaborative transport planning partnership initiative between all Canterbury local authorities and Transit New Zealand.


“The funding will enable additional investment in transport infrastructure to be made over a 10-year period, with the indicative ongoing Government contribution to the project totalling $244 million,” Dr Cullen said.


Annette King congratulated the Canterbury region for its foresight in planning ahead for the region’s future land transport infrastructure needs.


“This package provides a sound basis for future transport investment in Canterbury. The project provides integrated planning across the Northern Canterbury, Greater Christchurch and Southern Canterbury sub-regions, will reduce kilometres travelled and provide access to other forms of transport over the next 30 years”


The ministers say the funding will go toward local authority network improvements and a number of key transport projects, including the Christchurch Northern Access Package, which encompasses new roads, walking and cycling lanes and the completion of public transport priority measures.


Ms King said the Canterbury region will still need to fund its share from local resources or a modest Regional Fuel Tax. If a Regional Fuel Tax does form part of the funding it is likely to be phased in from 2010/11.


Dr Cullen said the Government investment was vital for the region’s continued economic vitality. “To achieve economic transformation we need to invest in the future. This project will ensure the Canterbury region works together to cement vital transport links to move people and freight in and out and within the region efficiently.”


Contacts: John Harvey (04) 4719305 or John Saunders (04) 470 6851 (Annette King’s office); Jason Knauf (04) 471 9869 (Dr Cullen’s office).