Government delivering on transport commitmentsTransport
Today’s release of the National Land Transport Programme for 2015-18 is a strong statement of Government commitment to regional New Zealand, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.
Mr Bridges says the $13.9 billion that will be spent over the next three years represents a significant investment, and a 15% increase in total funding compared with the previous three years.
The Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Package will be significantly advanced with $197 million being made available to:
- replace the Whirokino trestle bridge in Manawatu
- replace the Taramakau road/rail bridge on the West Coast, and
- make safety improvements to the Loop Road on Smeatons Hill in Northland
- make safety improvements to the Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge Corridor in Taranaki.
Most will occur in the next three years.
Mr Bridges says while the Motu Bridge replacement in Gisborne and the Opawa and Wairau bridge replacements in Marlborough have not been included in the programme, other funding options are likely to be available.
“The Government often funds projects that don’t always meet NZ Transport Agency criteria. Investigations into these projects will continue and I’m confident we’ll find funding to respond to the needs of these regions.”
He says the same applies for some bridges in Northland.
“The NZ Transport Agency has carried out investigations on ten of the one way bridges on various State highways in Northland and has approved funding for the Matakohe (Hardies and Andersons), Kaeo and Taipa bridges.
“Investigations are still being done on what work needs to be carried out on the Tirohanga, Rangiahau and Taheke bridges so I’m expecting business cases for these projects once investigations are completed.
“The NZ Transport Agency has advised that replacing the Hallahans and Lowes bridges, as well as the Darby and Joan bridge, are not recommended at this time, but I will be asking them to reassess these as part of their consideration for the next NLTP in 2018,” Mr Bridges says.
The Government’s Roads of National Significance (RoNS) programme is also being significantly progressed.
“Next month I’m looking forward to opening the Tauranga Eastern Link, the second of the seven RoNS. Most of the other projects will start opening, partially or fully, within the next couple of years,” he says.
Spending on cycling will more than triple to $251 million, compared with the previous three year period, and compliments the Urban Cycleways Programme which will change the face of cycling in New Zealand.
When combined with wider investments in cycling facilities as part of improvements to State highways and local roads in the next three years, this investment is estimated to be closer to $350 million ensuring safe, healthy, environmentally-friendly transport choices.
About a third of the programme – $4.22 billion – will be invested in the Auckland transport system and services.
“In June 2013 we announced the Auckland Accelerated Package which focussed on providing congestion relief and supporting economic growth.
“I’m pleased funding over the next three years will bring forward elements of the East-West Link and the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI).”
As well as that, almost $2 billion is planned for spending on public transport across New Zealand, which is a 21% increase on 2012-15.
“This investment is critical to economic growth and productivity, reduces congestion, and provides commuters with affordable travel choices,” Mr Bridges says.
“It’s great to see a programme like the NLTP 2015-18 that delivers on the Government’s priorities of economic growth and productivity, road safety and value for money.
“I’m look forward to seeing the projects included in this massive investment become reality in the very near future.”
For more information, click here: www.nzta.govt.nz/nltp